Here’s a thoughtful prayer of approach for the first Sunday of Lent (or the first Sunday of Advent). It was written by Rev. Eleanor Macalister, and posted on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website.
Prayer of Approach and Confession
(based on Psalm 25:1-10)
God of the deserts, the seas and the skies,
we come before you now as the one, true God.
We praise you for bringing light and colour into our lives
and for filling us with a desire to serve.
In your presence, we sense your promise and encouragement,
your belief in us as your children.
And we are happy to receive your warmth and your love.
So many times we have questioned you and turned away from you;
disbelieving your will for us;
stifling ourselves in the darkness of that disbelief
and failing not only ourselves,
but those whom we love.
Forgive us when we fail to walk in your ways,
when we have been incapacitated by our own weaknesses,
bringing a sense of guilt and sometimes despair.
We ask that you do not give up on us;
that you take us by the hand and put us back on course,
a course leading to contentment and fulfillment,
underpinned by your strength and love.
Restore us to yourself
that we might lift up our hearts and minds and voices
to focus on Christ calling us to follow him wherever that may be.
Help us to learn from his example,
to search our hearts, just as he did,
and to commit ourselves more wholly to you.
On this first Sunday of Lent/Advent,
may we listen out for your voice in the days ahead,
that we may know you better,
that we may love you better.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— written by Rev. Eleanor Macalister, and posted on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website.