The Practice of Confession

Walt Quick
Mar 24, 2019

Lent is a time to prepare ourselves for experiencing in a new way the death and resurrection of Jesus. Confession of sin plays a key part in this preparation. It invites the Holy Spirit to reveal to us ways that we are stuck in pride, shame, fear, greed, anger, or other sins that are keeping us from loving God and loving others the way we have been created to. Confession is never something we do to earn the love and grace of God. Rather, confession is a response to the love and grace of God. Because we have been loved so fully, we can confess freely in the knowledge that God is with us and in Jesus he has come to free us from sin's power and lead us into new life. 

Below is a list of confessions that we have used in our Sunday liturgy, and found in the Evangelical Covenant Church Book of Worship. You are invited to read one each day for the next week, or find one that resonates with you and reflect on it this season. 

Day 1

Confession

Gracious God, Creator and Father, we confess that we often rebel against your will for us. We have denied your intentions; we have preferred our way to Christ’s way; we have disobeyed your commandments; and we have worshipped ourselves and the things we have made. Forgive us, restore in us the knowledge of who we are, and make us alive to serve you in faith, obedience, and joy, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Words of Assurance

God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting. In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Amen!

Day 2

Confession

Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future where we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image; through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen.

Words of Assurance

The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. Know that you are forgiven, and be at peace. Thanks be to God!

Day 3

Confession

Merciful God, we confess that so little of Your blessing reaches others through us. Our prayers have been too self-focused rather than expressing care for the well being of others. We are guilty of keeping silent when a word is needed and speaking when the greatest blessing would be to listen. We have been reluctant to share our table with the stranger as Christ has done.We have neglected to serve others when you have called us to love in actions and in truth. Forgive and transform us into disciples who graciously and authentically share the good news of Jesus Christ. In His name we pray. Amen.

Words of Assurance

Hear the good news! Christ died and rose again for us, He reigns in power, and prays for us. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old life has gone and a new life has begun. Believe the good news of the gospel; in Jesus Christ you are forgiven!

Day 4

Confession

Lord, we confess we have lost the mystery of our faith and the wonder of our eternal hope. We have not nurtured our longing for you.


We have lost a heavenly perspective and settled for worldly comforts and superficial distractions. We have settled for worldly knowledge that is easily attainable, while neglecting to contemplate the inexhaustible mystery of Christ Jesus. We have fallen into the trap and dull cycle of idle faith.


We have been harsh with others when you have called us to be kind. We have been sexually immoral and impure when you have called us to be holy and beloved. We have succumbed to selfish desires and devoted ourselves to idols when you have chosen us as your own. We have been slanderous and hateful toward others in our actions and speech when you have called us to be humble, meek, patient, and filled with forgiveness.
For all these things, we ask that you forgive us, Lord.

Words of Assurance

Jesus truly has delivered us from the domain of darkness, from the trap of sin, and has transferred us into the Kingdom of God. In Him, you are forgiven, you are redeemed, you are His chosen. Amen.

Day 5

Confession

God of grace and truth, in Jesus Christ you came among us as light shining in darkness. We confess the ways that we have closed our eyes to glory in our midst, failing to see your divine image in the lives of those unlike us. Forgive our self-centeredness and renew our hearts, so that we may be filled with the vision and hope of Christ coming into the world for all people. Amen.

Words of Assurance

From 1 Timothy 1:
Hear the good news! The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Thanks be to God!

Day 6

Confession

Gracious God, Creator and Father, we confess that we often rebel against your will for us. We have denied your intentions; we have preferred our way to Christ’s way; we have disobeyed your commandments; and we have worshipped ourselves and the things we have made. Forgive us, restore in us the knowledge of who we are, and make us alive to serve you in faith, obedience, and joy, through Christ our Lord. Amen.\

Words of Assurance

God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting. In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Amen!

Day 7

Confession

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Words of Assurance

From Lamentations 3:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is His faithfulness. Thanks be to God!