Below is an excerpt from Prone to Wander: Prayers of Confession and Celebration by Wayne Duguid Houk & Barbara R. Duguid and edited by Iain M. Duguid.
These prayers open with a scriptural call of confession, confess specific sins, thank the Father for Jesus’ perfect life and death in our place, ask for help of the Spirit in pursuing holiness, and close with an assurance of pardon.
Inspired by the Puritan classic The Valley of Vision, these prayers were developed for both personal devotions and church use.
Call to Confession: Matthew 9:36
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Prayer of Confession
You are our faithful shepherd who walks beside us in green pastures and through the valley of deep shadow. You have promised to pursue us with your goodness and mercy all the days of our lives. Yet we confess that we often doubt your compassion and care for us. When we are harassed and helpless, instead of turning to you and trusting you to care for our needs and lead us in straight paths, we seek help in our idols and comfort in our sins. When others around us are harassed and helpless, we are impatient and lacking in compassion, uncaring about their needs and concerns. Father, forgive us.
Jesus, thank you for the compassion that brought you from heaven to live among us as the Good Shepherd. Thank you for entering life’s trials and enduring death’s valley in our place, without fear. Thank you that you always trusted your Father’s care for you, even when he gave you the overflowing, bitter cup of suffering to drink for us. Thank you that you have prepared a bounteous feast for us in your Father’s house and that we will dwell there in heaven with you forever.
Holy Spirit, be our comforter in the midst of the trials of life. Help us to trust you to provide when we are helpless to do so. Teach us to find refuge in you when we have nowhere else to turn and when no one else seems to understand our needs. Enable us in turn to show similar compassion and care to others as well, we pray, to that we may learn to love the other members of your flock as you do. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Assurance of Pardon: 1 Peter 2:22-25
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
“The Lord’s My Shepherd”
“Poor Sinner Dejected with Fear”
“Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us”