Here is an excerpt taken from Streams of Mercy: Prayers of Confession and Celebration by Barbara R. Duguid and edited by Iain M. Duguid. Release Date: Friday, 3/30.
NO OTHER GODS (COMMANDMENT 1)
And God spoke all these words, saying,
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land
of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
You shall have no other gods before me.”
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Your kindness and love are beyond all thought, far exceeding our wildest dreams. But, Lord, we are not like you. Our lips may confess our devotion to you, but our hearts are slow to follow our words, and we are reluctant to obey you with our lives. We confess to you our adulterous and idolatrous hearts. We cherish many things far more than we love you, and we spend hours each day worshiping at the feet of other gods. Instead of treasuring you and your Word, we lavish the best of our time on our false gods, hoping that they will bless us and reward us for our efforts. Meanwhile, we are content to give you the leftovers of our attention. O God, have mercy on us and forgive us for our persistent blindness and false worship.
Holy Spirit, give us grace to hate and grieve the many moments we have spent lost in worship before our other lovers. We have turned your good gifts into false gods and have given ourselves to them. Even though they use and abuse us, still we run after them and sell our souls to them. Please work in us continual repentance, turning our wandering hearts back to our perfect Savior. Teach us to love your Word, which reminds us that he has loved us and given himself for us; he traded all of the glory of heaven in order to live with us and be obedient for us.
Make Christ beautiful to us. Satisfy our minds with true knowledge of him, and set our hearts on fire with profound love for him. Let us love him with every part of ourselves: with emotions that delight in him and long for him; with minds that are full of thoughts of him and bodies that are eager to serve him. Draw us back to the cross, where his love was poured out for the salvation of our souls. Remind us that even death will never part us from you, but can only be the bright and joyful completion of your eternal story of love and redemption. In Jesus’ beautiful name we pray, amen.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
- “Here Is Love Vast as the Ocean”
- “My Jesus, I Love Thee”