I Confess (a prayer/poem by Howard Thurman)
The concern which I lay bare before God today is:
My concern for the life of the world in these troubled times.
I confess my own infer confusion as I look out upon the world.
There is food for all – many are hungry.
There are clothes enough for all – many are in rags.
There is room enough for all – many are crowded.
There are none who want war – preparations for conflict abound.
I confess my won share in the ills of the times.
I have shirked my own responsibilities as a citizen.
I have not been wise in casting my ballot.
I have left to others a real interest in making
a public opinion worthy of democracy.
I have been concerned about my own little
job, my own little security, my own shelter, my own bread.
I have not really cared about jobs for others,
security for others, shelter for others, bread for others.
I have not worked for peace; I want peace,
but I have voted and worked for war.
I have silenced my own voice that it may not
be heard on the side of any cause, however right,
if it meant running risks or damaging my own little reputation.
Let Thy light burn in me that I may, from
this moment on, take effective steps within my
own powers, to live up to the light and courageously
to pray for the kind of world I so deeply desire.
Authentically Seeking Forgiveness
I come to you this morning naked and revealed, in absolute truth and honesty, to reveal to myself and to you, that I need your forgiveness.
I need your forgiveness for the lack of authentic commitment I demonstrate in my life. I profess that Christianity is not something to be lived only one day a week, but often fall into a pattern of pick and choose Christianity.
I need your forgiveness because I have often tried to measure the significance of my life by our worldly standards, without listening to you, to the directions you are sending me, so that I might life a life significant to you.
I need your forgiveness that I might be able to live a life full of faith. I profess that my action comes out of my faith, but often wonder myself where my faith has gone.
I need your forgiveness that I might come to be a better listener. I neglect my prayer with you; I fill silence, out of fear, so that I cannot hear your words.
I need your forgiveness for the artificial communion I maintain with some of my brothers and sisters in Christ, that I might become a Christian of authentic character
We need your forgiveness as we strive to be socially responsible. We know that it is social because we are all in the grouping of God’s children, and that we are responsible because we are to live in unity and harmony with our brothers and sisters, as you may desire.
We need your forgiveness that we have contributed to hatred and segregation of your family, because we do not stand up for what is right. We do not stand up that we may preserve our own name, when it is your name that needs to be shared, and shouted on mountaintops!
We need your forgiveness that we have avoided the responsibilities of witnessing your love of all your children, because we are afraid we might not be loved in return. We need your forgiveness for forgetting that your love is eternal and everlasting.
Embrace us, teach us, empower us. Embolden me to embrace HOLY BOLDNESS. Hold my hand during times of discomfort, and times of relief. Help me and our world to seek the world that you truly yearn for.