Prayer of Confession: Our Stubborn Hearts


Romans 5:8

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Our Father,

We you have made us to love you and to demonstrate that love through obedience. We confess to you that we have not loved you as we ought. And we know our love is lacking, because our obedience is lacking. We confess that even when we obey, we often do so with a sense of drudgery instead of joy. 

Father, we are wholly to blame for our disobedience. Our hearts and wills are stubborn. Even when we know what your Word commands, and understand the consequences of sin, nonetheless we choose evil. 

Though we are surrounded by other sinners and live in world under the curse of sin we confess that our decisions to sin have been our own.

Father help us not to weasel out of confession. Don’t allow us to invent loopholes to cover our backs. Help us to deal honestly with you so that we might receive the grace and mercy that you so richly supply to us in Christ.

We know that if we say “Amen” to this prayer while intending to go on in our sin this prayer will be useless, so help us now to confess our individual sins to you in silence.

Father, thank you that while we were your enemies, you reconciled us to yourself. Thank you for adopting us into your family through Christ. We rejoice that in Christ Jesus we have been redeemed. In Jesus name we pray… AMEN!


Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, 

whose sin is covered. 

Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 

Prayer of Adoration: But Parts of Your Ways

CALL TO WORSHIP – Ephesians 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,


Father Almighty,

We lift our hearts to you—along with our eyes and our hands. Stir us up to take hold of you and your surpassing glory today.

Father, you are holy and there is none like you. The whole earth is full of your glory. You cover yourself with light as with a garment. 

You are the king eternal, immutable, invisible. There is no where we can go from your presence—from heaven even unto the grave you are there. 

You have perfect knowledge of every word, thought, and action done in the earth in all times and all places. All things are naked and open before your eyes.

Your understanding, O Lord, is infinite. You number the stars in the sky and the sparrows on the earth. 

You rule over the earth and your dominion is from generation to generation. No one can question you or ask why you are doing what you do. You kill and make alive. You wound and you heal. 

And you are perfectly blameless—and you make holiness your house. Yours is the highest court, and your judgements are always carried out. You condemn the guilty and you pardon sinners.

O Lord, you are good, and your mercies endure forever. O that your goodness would pass before us today so that we might taste and see that you are good.

Father, these are but parts of your ways—we have only just begun to touch on all that you are and do—and even this is more than we can grasp.

We praise you Father, through our mediator—Jesus Christ the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit which you have sent into our hearts.

One God, forever and ever. In Jesus name we pray, AMEN!

Sermon Notes: The Holiness of God’s People – Ezra 9-10

Ezra and Nehemiah are all about reformation. God calls his people out of their exile and back to Jerusalem. They rebuild the altar and temple of the Lord (Ezra) and continue to rebuild the walls of the city (Nehemiah). This sermon series is a fast-paced walk through the book of Ezra with an eye towards what reformation might look like in the 21st century. 

Prayer of Confession: Salt of the Earth


In the ancient world, salt wasn’t valued so much for seasoning abilities. Salt’s true worth was its preserving qualities. If you have a piece of meat that’s going back, you can prolong it’s life by pressing salt into it. Salt stems decay.

And when Jesus tells Christians to be the salt of the earth, he’s saying that we are to be agents of preservation. When we see an individual who’s self-destructive or hopeless; when we see a family breaking down, when we see a city or a nation corrupting and rotting, instead of running—we go in.

Now, as we all know, volunteering to enter into someone’s mess, into societies mess is costly and it’s always painful. And most people see a mess and the run. They say, “Let me out of here. This is draining.”

But Christians go in. Why? It’s because Jesus Christ looked at the cosmic mess we have made in our sin—and he didn’t think the cost or pain he would endure too great to come and get us.

To be salt means we can’t shrug off the hurts and the sins of this world. We can’t be dismissive of others pain or neglect societal decay. In all these areas, to be faithful to Jesus means we go in—for his sake, with his gospel.

So, let’s ask the Lord to make us salt as we confess our sins together:


Our Father,

Your word tells us that we are to be the salt of the earth. We know it’s a call to live in a self-sacrificial way for the sake of others.

Father we confess that we have not fully embraced self-sacrifice as a defining virtue of your kingdom. 

We confess that we’ve avoided those you’ve asked us to help. We have not sought out the broken and the lost. We have not spent enough time in prayer for the needs of the poor or widows or orphans. And we have not given to their needs freely as you have commanded.

Father, we also confess that we’ve been too cowardly at confronting the wickedness of our own nation. We have not read your Word enough to know the truth. We have not trusted in your power enough to speak the truth. We have not trained our children to know and walk in the truth as we ought.

Father, we know that if our own community will be changed, we must be changed first. We know all of this begins with us as the people who claim your name.

So, help us Father as we confess our individual sins to you in silence.


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Sermon Notes: “Introducing Ezra” Ezra 7-8

Ezra and Nehemiah are all about reformation. God calls his people out of their exile and back to Jerusalem. They rebuild the altar and temple of the Lord (Ezra) and continue to rebuild the walls of the city (Nehemiah). This sermon series is a fast-paced walk through the book of Ezra with an eye towards what reformation might look like in the 21st century. 

Sermon Audio:

Confession of Sin: “Regarding Sin”


From time to time, you may hear one of the ministers end our prayer of confession with words like, “if we regard sin in our lives this prayer will be ineffectual…” What does it mean to “regard sin”? To regard sin is to respect sin. It means to let sin have some place in your heart or life. To regard sin is to make peace with sin—to invite it into your life and make it a cozy bed to sleep in.

And what does “this prayer will be ineffectual” mean? It means that the prayer will have no effect. You’ve come to confess sin, and if you walk away with your pet sin still living cozily in your home, unchallenged, unthreatened, then the confession will not have changed you. 

So, how do you effectively challenge and threatened your pet sins? Turn to the cross of Christ. Meditate on the magnitude of his death in your place for that pet sin. Contemplate the cost he paid. And at the same time realize that the cost he paid is only equaled by the loved he has for you. He hasn’t grown tired of you. He won’t give up on you. If you belong to him by faith, he will conquer every sin that keeps you from him.

So, let’s not make peace with sin. Let’s go to war with lying, and gossip, and greed. And as God grants us victory over those sins let’s be watchful that we don’t begin to regard pride in our hearts because we see victory over sin.

Let’s pray and confess our sins together.


Our Father,

We come to confess that all of us have our own pet sins. 

We love our reputation enough to lie. We have idolized our children and so we lose our temper when they fail us. 

We worship attention and so we engage salacious speech to gain an audience. We love our own comfort, so we refuse to go out of our way to get to know others in our own church and community.

And when we are confronted with these pet sins, we instantly begin to make excuses for why we aren’t all that bad. We’ve made peace with them in a million ways. Father we confess that even those excuses are sin, and therefore we repent of our excuses as well.

We know that our sin nailed Jesus to the cross, and therefore we do not want to cozy up to sin. We also know how much you love us in Christ and so we want to give ourselves fully to you in obedient love.

Father, we know that if we say amen to this prayer while regarding sin in our heart this prayer will have no effect, so hear us as we confess our individual sins to you now in silence.

In Jesus name we pray, Amen!


16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Prayer of Adoration – Who is Like the Lord?

CALL TO WORSHIP – Psalm 90:1-2; 16-17

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 

16 Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. 17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! 


Our Father in Heaven,

Your glory is unending. From the rising of the sun to its going down. Your people praise your name. Father, your throne is high above every nation.

Who is like you, Lord God?

Who can look down and see every man, woman, boy and girl? You raise the poor from the dust and you lift the needy from the ashes. You sit them down in splendor beside of princes.

You give the barren woman children. You raise the dead to life. You have shown yourself gracious to us, And we come to you now asking that you show yourself gracious today.

May the words of our mouth, and the meditation of our heart be pleasing and acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer. We worship you, Father through Jesus Christ our King, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit.

One God, past present and forever.

In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Sermon Notes: “Keeping the Feast” Ezra 6

Ezra and Nehemiah are all about reformation. God calls his people out of their exile and back to Jerusalem. They rebuild the altar and temple of the Lord (Ezra) and continue to rebuild the walls of the city (Nehemiah). This sermon series is a fast-paced walk through the book of Ezra with an eye towards what reformation might look like in the 21st century. 

Sermon Audio:

Communion Meditation: In Christ


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”

To be in Christ means something. First, it means that you belong to Jesus. His grace has sought you out and won your heart. He has taken ownership of you as your Lord. To be in Christ also means that you submit to him as Lord. Because he is your master and you are his servant, you behave under the sphere of his power and authority. To be in Christ also means that you haven’t earned your right standing before God—Jesus has. You are clothed in the righteous record of Jesus by virtue of your trust in him. And finally, to be in Christ means that you are a member of the believing community, the church. Jesus said that the church is the body of Christ—and therefore you cannot be in Christ and outside of the church.

And when Paul says that anyone in Christ is a new creation, he is saying that Jesus is the divider of history. When Christ arose, he was the first fruits of the new creation God has promised, and to be a new creation in Christ means God has already begun a transformation in you that will ultimately extend to entire cosmos. 

And this meal is a sign of our participation in all of that. A sign of Christ’s ownership, our submission to his rule, his merits applied to us, our membership in his body, and our eager expectation that the same power that raised Christ from the dead will one day make all things new.

If that is not the story of your life, this meal is not for you. But if you are in Christ, then come and welcome to Jesus Christ.

Prayer of Confession: Satisfying Ourselves

(Based on a prayer found in the Valley of Vision)



As we have thought about your greatness and considered your almighty power—if we’re honest we all see places in our lives where we have diminished your greatness and inflated our own.

We confess that we have tried to live a life that satisfies ourselves without trying to satisfy you. We confess that even when we’ve tried to satisfy you, we have tried to do it in our own strength—so that we might have something to boast in. We confess that we have believed in our own sufficiency, our own capabilities, our own giftings. We have believed in our basic goodness, instead of our basic guilt and neediness before you.

Father, we know confessing all our sin would take more hours than are in a day but hear us in this next moment as we silently confess our individual sins to you.

Father,  Help us not to live in our own strength—but to look to Christ and his cross every moment. Help us to know that the life you are calling us to live can only be lived by faith and trust in your provision. 

Then let us devote ourselves completely to Jesus—help us to depend on you for every accomplishment of your purposes—for ourselves, our family, our church, our world, and for your kingdom.

In Jesus name we pray,


ASSURANCE OF PARDON – 2 Corinthians 5:17-18a

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;” (2 Corinthians 5:17–18, ESV)