The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise (psalm 51:17).
Today we enter into the Lenten season. I am reminded again this year that what this season is about: repentance, a broken spirit over my sin, a re-recognition of my desperate need for Christ. I want to welcome this season of brokenness in my heart, face my sin, and rejoice that by his broken body and spilled blood, I am not only forgiven, but made clean.
So I'm entering in, spelunking, if you will, in the dark cave that is my sin, my selfishness, my pride, my fear, my lack of love and compassion.
" . . . all the fitness He requireth, Is to feel your need of Him."
A place to start in the self-examination and repentance of the Lenten season: By meditating on the verses one day at a time, I hope to use this prayer as a starting point for self-examination and repentance. The words already begin to pierce my hard heart:
Prayers of the Children of God. . . We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.Have mercy on us, Lord.We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit. Have mercy on us, Lord.We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives, we confess to you, Lord.Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people, we confess to you, Lord.Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves, we confess to you, Lord.Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work, we confess to you, Lord.Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us, we confess to you, Lord.Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty, accept our repentance, Lord.For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts towards our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt towards those who differ from us, accept our repentance, Lord.For our waste and pollution of your creation, our lack of concern for those who come after us, accept our repentance, Lord.Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us; Favorably hear us for your mercy is great.Accomplish in us the work of your salvation, that we may show forth your glory in the world.By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord, bring us with all your saints into the joy of His resurrection.