Here’s a prayer of confession inspired by Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.” It was submitted by Pastor Carl Eliason, Pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Grand Island, New England.
Where do you seek joy in your life? We all have people, activities, or things that bring us moments of happiness. Sitting on the floor in a pile of puppies, hearing a baby giggle, a cool breeze on a hot day, mashed potatoes and gravy, or a squeezing hug from a loved one. However, all of these are just moments of joy. Moments are temporary and can lead us to temptation to relive a moment. We can also get caught in the trap of trying to create even greater moments. Temporary joys followed by longer periods of unhappiness. Or what happens when our expectations for happiness are not met or even denied to us or stolen from us? The seeking of the moment becomes an idol. An idol helps us realize that we have been seeking happiness and joy in the wrong direction. God is the true source of unending joy. Let's confess together.
Prayer of Confession (unison)
you have blessed us with the entirety of your creation
and we have taken it all and tried to place it
in a box that we can control rather than manage.
When we go against your will
we wonder why life does not work out for us.
In our brokenness
we seek happiness and joy in things and expectations.
Then, outside of your hope,
we are crushed by the world around us
and our own inward thoughts.
shine your light into the dark days and nights of our lives.
Forgive us for falling from your love and blessings,
and for the sake of Jesus,
restore in us the joy that only comes
through your Spirit living in us and through us. Amen.
Words of Assurance
Through his unending mercy and grace,
our heavenly Father offers his Son Jesus Christ
in exchange for our brokenness.
Jesus is the light the brings joy in the morning
and leads us to eternity by grace through faith.
He has destroyed the grip of darkness
that crushes the spirit
and allows me to announce to you the good news:
your sins are forgiven
in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
~ written by Carl Eliason, Pastor, Peace Lutheran Church in Grand Island, New England.