The following is an excerpt taken from Prone to Wander: Prayers of Confession and Celebration by Wayne Duguid Houk & Barbara R. Duguid and edited by Iain M. Duguid.
CALL TO CONFESSION: PSALM 46:10–11
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Father of mercies,
Quiet our anxious thoughts and help us to be still before you. We confess that we do not run to you as our refuge and strength, but turn to many other sources of hope and help when our souls are troubled. When our lives fall apart and our hearts are like roaring and foaming seas, we are prone to fear you, accuse you, hate you, and feel abandoned by you. If we have been obedient to you, we think that you owe us better than this cup of suffering. When we have disobeyed, we fear that you are judging us and imagine that we have spoiled your wonderful plan for our lives. Father, thank you for your presence with us in our joy and our sorrow, in our strength and our weakness. We praise you that we cannot ruin your plans, for you work all things, even our own sin and the sins of others against us, together for our good and for your glory.
Lord Jesus, you obeyed your Father with every thought and action, yet his wonderful plan for your life was to give you the bitter cup of suffering that should have been ours. You trusted and loved God even when he didn’t let that cup pass from you; your faith never wavered when he turned his back on you, so that he would never have to forsake us. Thank you for obeying in our place and giving us your righteousness.
Holy Spirit, exalt Christ in our hearts. Give us strength to trust in him, for we are weak and it is hard to practice what we believe. You alone can restrain our sin, for without your grace to sustain us, we quickly fall. When we resist sin, show us that all the glory is yours and not ours. When we fall, remind us of the oceans of love and forgiveness that are ours in Christ, and of your complete sovereignty over all sin. May we treasure Christ in our weakness and failure, celebrating the love of such a wonderful Savior. Thank you for times of pain when you dismantle our idolatries and disarm the fortresses that we turn to instead of you. When life is stormy, let us find safety, peace, and hope in Christ, our best refuge and only source of true and lasting strength. In his priceless name we pray, amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON: PSALM 46:4–5; REVELATION 22:1–5, 20
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. . . . No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
. . . Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
“Be Still, My Soul”
“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
“Jesus, Priceless Treasure”
Excerpt taken from pages 50, 51 of Prone to Wander: Prayers of Confession and Celebration by Wayne Duguid Houk & Barbara R. Duguid and edited by Iain M. Duguid, copyright 2014, P&R Publishing.