Confession: James 3 - 4

Here’s a prayer of confession and words of assurance based on the suggested scripture readings for Proper 20 B (the 17th Sunday after Pentecost).  It was written by Moira Laidlaw.

Prayer of Confession

(inspired by James 3:13 – 4:3)

Lord Jesus Christ, there are times when we all feel like victims—

pawns in the powerplays which are so much a part of life these days.

As usual, however, you look into our hearts

and question what part we play in these power games.  

We know that in your eyes it is not social status,

or wealth or reputation that count, 

and we confess how easily our lives can become enmeshed

in such wordly values. 

You risked personal comfort and security

when you reached out to those on the edge of your society, 

lepers and sinners—people whom others considered unclean.
Forgive us when we fail to meet your challenge

to identify with those whom society would call worthless.

You showed us that the journey of discipleship

is a journey into servanthood and powerlessness.
Forgive us for being tempted to pursue power

and to favour competition over compassion. 

You, Lord, saw the good in everyone

and showed us exactly what it means to be the servant of all,
while too often we see others as rivals

in the race for success, influence and popularity.

“Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”
Imprint these words on our hearts

 and put your living Spirit within us, we pray,

 so that we serve others and you

with wisdom, understanding, love and compassion. Amen.


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