A Public Confession of Sins and Prayer Before the Sermon

Heavenly Father, eternal and merciful God, we acknowledge and confess before Thy divine majesty that we are poor miserable sinners. We were conceived and born in utter wickedness and corruption and are prone to all manner of evil and incapable by nature of doing any good. By our sinful life we transgress Thy holy commandments without ceasing, and thereby incur Thy wrath and bring down upon ourselves eternal damnation according to Thy righteous judgment.

But we are penitent, Lord, and we grieve because of our sins whereby we provoked Thy wrath. We bring accusation against ourselves and lay transgression to our own charge. Yet we make bold to desire that Thou mayest in mercy regard our miseries. Have compassion on us, most merciful God and Father, and be pleased to forgive all our sins for the sake of the passion of Thy dear Son, Jesus Christ.

Grant us also the grace of Thy Holy Spirit, in order that He may teach us to confess our sins in sincerity of heart, to abhor ourselves indeed. and may lead us to the mortification of sin in our Iives. For we earnestly desire to return to a life that is truly holy and righteous and that is acceptable to Thee, through Jesus Christ.

May it also please Thee to lead us into the comprehension of Thy holy Word according to Thy divine will, in order that we may be taught to put our trust wholly in Thee and not to repose confidence in any creature. May our old nature with all its lusts be increasingly mortified day by day, and may we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to Thee, to the honor of Thy Name and the edification of our neighbor.

We also beseech Thee, gracious God, to turn unto Thyself in true penitence all that depart front Thy truth, for we eagerly desire that we all of one accord may serve Thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life.



– from the collection of Christian Prayers, Psalter Hymnal of the Christian Reformed Church, pp. 75, 76.