Prayer of Confession: Our Faulty Fast

Here’s a prayer of confession inspired by Isaiah 58: 1-9.  It comes from the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.

(inspired by Isaiah 58: 1-9)

“Is this  not the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?”

God of mercy
we confess to you our faulty fast.

Instead of setting the oppressed free
we buy cheap without asking who pays with poor wages and abuse.

Instead of inviting the homeless poor into our houses
we erect fences and gates to keep them out.

Instead of breaking the yoke,
we continue consuming until the earth cries out its pain.

Forgive us when we humble ourselves as an alternative to actually changing.

Forgive us when our spiritual disciplines turn us in on ourselves
and away from our neighbours both near and far.

Forgive us when we hide ourselves from our kin,
the hungry, the naked, the poor, our sisters and brothers in Christ.

Forgive us and turn us to the fast you desire through Jesus Christ. Amen.

~ from an Ash Wednesday 2011 Fast for Life  service of worship by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.