That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Joel 2:12-13 (NLT)
Dear heavenly Father, yet again, your love has fueled our grief, and your kindness now leads us to repentance. Because the gospel it true, we hate our sin, not ourselves; and we groan in grace, rather than groveling in contempt. There is no other god like you—so holy and so merciful, so welcoming and so eager to redeem, so patient and so filled with unfailing love. Hear our confession.
- We confess that we under-believe the gospel and over-trust in ourselves
- We confess binging on fear and worry, rather than feasting on your grace and sovereignty
- We confess thinking more about how people disappoint and fail us, than how we might love and serve them
- We confess hoarding our brokenness and weakness, rather than letting friends enter our pain and suffering.
- We confess indulging irritation and justifying our resentment, rather than forbearing with others and forgiving as Jesus has forgiven us.
Have mercy on us, Father, have mercy on me. If you dealt with us according to our sins, we could not stand. If you repaid us for all our transgressions, we would despair forever.
But our hope is sure; for it is built on nothing less, nothing more, and nothing other than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. We bless you, Father, for the gift of Jesus—for his perfect life lived for us, and his judgment-exhausting death on the cross. Though we remain broken, we cannot be more beloved. You will finish the work you began in us. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.
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Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.