Confession: James 1: 17-27

Here’s a prayer of confession inspired by James 1: 17-27, one of the suggested scripture readings for Proper 17 B (Ordinary 22 B) – the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost.  It was written by Moira Laidlaw.

Prayer of Confession
When the busyness of our lives erodes the intentions of our hearts:
Merciful God, forgive us.
When our personal agendas take precedence over reaching out to others:  
Merciful God, forgive us.
When we keep putting off being more active “doers of the word”:
Merciful God, forgive us.
When we resist change, knowing that our acting and thinking
are limited by our prejudice and ignorance:  
Merciful God, forgive us.
When we only half-listen to those who cry out to be fully heard:
Merciful God, forgive us.

A time of silence to contemplate these words
and how they apply to us personally and as a community of faith.

Gracious and merciful God,
forgive us for past faults
and help us in the present and future
to make ourselves more available to the hurting world that surrounds us—
the world that begins on our doorsteps. 
Equip us to be patient and compassionate listeners,
proclaiming the gospel not in overbearing ways but sensitively and lovingly. 
Strengthen us with the Holy Spirit to be fruitful and active witnesses to Jesus in all we do and say.

(You might follow the spoken prayer with the song,
Make me a channel of your peace, if your congregations is familiar with it.)

Assurance of Forgiveness (James 1:21)
As we become doers of the word and not merely hearers, we discover that it is “in pardoning that we are pardoned, in giving of ourselves that we receive”—surely evidence of  “the implanted word that has the power to save our souls” – Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
Thanks be to God!

~ written by Moira Laidlaw, and posted on Liturgies Online.