We come today as those who have experienced the deepest realities of your grace. Our sins have been cleansed in Christ, we are comforted by his love, as your church we participate with one another in the work of your Spirit, we have shown one another the affection and love of Christ. All of those realities are ours. They define us, and hem us in, and shape our lives.
Yet Father, even though all of these deep realities are ours in Christ, we also know that our hearts are sinful—they are bent not towards humility and service, but instead are bent towards selfish ambition and vain conceit. We are not naturally inclined to sacrifice for others, but are constantly looking out for our own interests.
We confess that our fighting, our posturing, our self-centeredness comes from hearts that constantly seek the approval of others. Desiring to prove our own worth and validation we have chosen pride over humility. We have chosen a quick temper over patience. We have chosen to tear down others rather than seeking peace. All of this is because we are hungry for glory, hungry for approval, hungry for the status that can only be received from you as your child.
So, Father, hear us now as we individually confess the ways we have sinned against you in silence.
Father, we thank you for hearing our prayer We know that it has been heard because Jesus Christ, the one who was due all glory, all approval, all status, emptied himself. He didn’t count his status as something to be grasped, but humbled himself and became a man who died in dejection, so that we could receive his name, and thereby receive your approval. Help us to have the mind of Christ. Help us to walk in humility just as Jesus walked. Help us to do nothing out of selfish ambition that we may be a walking testimony to Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON – 2 Corinthians 5:17-18a
Here is a word for people who know their hearts are tragically twisted and who have confessed that twistedness:
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself…