Confession to the Divine Gardener

Here’s a prayer of confession which uses a gardening metaphor.  It was written by James E. Janecek.

Prayer of Confession

The Divine Gardener cannot sow seeds of justice and peace
where there is nothing but hearts of dry, hard rocks. 
We confess that our hearts may need tilling
and the digging out of the deeply rooted sins
that crowd out seedlings planted with divine compassion.

God of steadfast love,
you change bitter tears of remorseful hearts
with raindrops  of mercy,
Now let us germinate a new life, growing with integrity!

God of steadfast love,
you change the cold shame of contrite hearts
with sunrays of mercy
Now let us sprout a new life, growing with honesty!

God of steadfast love,
you change the stony edges of repentant hearts
into landscapes of mercy,
Now let us branch out into new life, growing with generosity!

Assurance of Pardon

Divine Gardener,
You tend us in steadfast love,
Unending mercies, and eternal faithfulness;
you cultivate true friendship with you
through boundless forgiveness. 
In Christ, this faithful love is planted in our hearts. 
Gathered as your community of believers, our family of faith,
with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us,
we can now produce forgiveness for each other as we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God!

~ written by James E. Janecek , in Seeds of Faith:  Service Prayers for the Nineteenth  Sunday after Pentecost.  Posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways archive.