So often when I sit down to pray a prayer of confession, I feel like I cannot find the words to describe what it is that is weighing on my heart. What I find a lot of the time is that there is not just one big thing or event I need to confess about. So I find myself at a loss for how to express what it is I need to repent. As a Georgetown student, I often get caught up in school work and all of my other commitments. My relationship with God seems to take a backseat. I often am unable to place a finger on what is off but I just feel myself straying from God in little ways. During the my the last service I attended at my home church in Maryland before returning to Georgetown this year we prayed this beautiful prayer of confession based on a prayer by Joe Seremane that seems to be exactly what I’ve been searching for:
You asked me for your hands that you might use them for your purposes.
I gave them for a moment then withdrew them for the work was hard.
You asked for my trust that you might transform the world using my heart,
I gave it then took it back again when I was afraid.
You asked for my mouth to speak out against injustice.
I gave you a whisper that I might not be accused.
You asked for my eyes to see the pain of poverty.
I closed them because I did not want to see.
You asked for my substance that you might do miracles through me.
I have you a small portion that I might not get too involved.
Lord, forgive me for calculated efforts to serve you only when it is convenient for me to do so, and only in those places where it is safe to do so, and only with those who make it easy to do so.
Lord, forgive me, restore me; restore me, and send me out as a usable instrument, that I may take seriously the meaning of your cross and resurrection.
I pray that God may use me as His instrument. To take my life and let it be for His glory. To reveal to me what I can do to bring more justice to the world. Yet, in spite of how deeply I want to answer the challenges the Lord puts in front of me I find myself only dedicating time to fulfill God’s purposes for my life when my earthly commitments allow me to do so. I am guilty of these calculated efforts. Doing what feels comfortable but not often enough testing my limits and stepping out of my comfort zone. I am cautious and calculating but I am taking slow steps to reach out my hands, pour out my trust, shout for justice, open my eyes to poverty and surrender control.
This is my confession.