Prayer of Confession and Blessing

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By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Merciful Father, Beloved Son, Ever-present Spirit,

We praise you, Lord, for your mercy, grace, patience, love, and faithfulness; for healing us of our afflictions, for forgiving our sin, and for your presence in our life; for in you we find faith, hope, and love, as nowhere else.

We confess that you alone are God, yet we make idols of machines, institutions, and our own pet theories. We have not followed the example of your son, Jesus Christ, and have set our own desires above our families, friends, and even your church. Forgive our sin; overlook our transgressions; and heal us of our iniquity—that we might be whole again and restored to your presence.

We give thanks for the many blessings that you have freely given us: our families, our health, our work, and even life itself.

We ask you now to bless us that we might bless others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer of Confession and Blessing

Also see:

Believer’s Prayer

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/HangHome_2020

 

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Confessional Prayer

Life_in_Tension_revision_front_20200101

By Stephen W.Hiemstra

Creator God,

We praise you for creating us in your image, complete in ourselves yet complementary with one another.

We confess that we have been too quick to sin, and too slow to forgive. Thank you for the gift of Your Son and Our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Forgive us; restore us; redeem us—teach us to imitate you so that we might grow more and more like you every day.

May we ever hunger and thirst for your righteous presence day by day.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit and in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Confessional Prayer

Also see:

Believer’s Prayer

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/Ready_2020

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Oración Confessional

Vida_en_Tensión_front_20200102

Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Dios creador,

Te alabamos por crearnos a tu image, completo en nosotros mismos todavía complementario con los demás.

Confesamos que hemos sido demasiado rápidos a pecar, y demasiado lentos a perdonar.

Gracia por el done de tu hijo y nuestro salvador, Jesucristo.

Perdónanos; restaurarnos; redímenos—enséñanos a imitarte para que podamos crecer cada vez más como tú todos los días.

Que siempre tengamos hambre y sed de tú rectitud presencia día a día.

A través del poder de tu Espíritu Santo y en el nombre de Jesús, Amén.

Oración Confessional

Ver también:

Oración del Creyente

Otras formas de participar en línea:

Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Sitio del editor: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Boletín informativo: https://bit.ly/Ready_2020

 

 

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Oración de Presencia

Vida_en_Tensión_front_20200102Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Padre compasivo,

Sea especialmente cerca de mí esta mañana—borrar mi culpa; esconder mi vergüenza; encubrir mi pecado.

Aunque soy indigno, comparta un momento íntimo conmigo. Recuérdame tiempos mejores.

Concédeme un dia nuevo en la solbrilla de tu misericordia—un día en que podría pérderme en tu amor y extiende tu amor con abandono a los que me rodean.

Abre un puente sobre las brechas que nos separa—tiempo y santidad y poder—para que pueda pasar más tiempo con los que me rodean, compartir en tus santos afectos, superar mi propias debilidades y amarguras, y recurrir a ti en lugar de mi dolor, para que pueda experimentar una pena piedoso y redemptivo.

A través del poder de tu Espíritu Santo y en el nombre de Jesús, Amén.

Oración de Presencia

Ver también:

Oración del Creyente

Otras formas de participar en línea:

Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Sitio del editor: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Boletín informativo:  https://bit.ly/Meet_2020

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Believer’s Prayer

Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, Lancaster PA
Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, Lancaster PA

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Heavenly Father,

I believe in Jesus Christ, the son of the living God, who died for our sins and was raised from the dead.

Come into my life, help me to renounce and grieve the sin in my life that separates me from God.

Cleanse me of this sin, renew your Holy Spirit within me so that I will not sin any further.

Bring saints and a faithful church into my life to keep me honest with myself and draw me closer to you.

Break any chains that bind me to the past—be they pains or sorrows or grievous temptations, that I might freely welcome God, the Father, into my life, who through Christ Jesus can bridge any gap and heal any affliction, now and always.

In Jesus’ previous name, Amen.

Believer’s Prayer

Also see:

Prayer for Healthy Limits 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/XXXmas_2019  

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Confession of Hidden Sin

Roses
Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Merciful father,

All praise and honor be to you for you live in the open and have no sin so that no one can accuse you or slander your name without bearing false witness.

We confess that our sins are both obvious and hidden, secrets that bring shame and grief that is to much to bear.

Forgive our sin, pardon the transgressions that burden us, and the iniquity that tarnish our names even when we appear unaware.

Thank you for the death and resurrection of your son, Jesus Christ, who without sin of his own bore our sin on the cross and deprived our sin of its to power to corrupt and pollute our souls.

In the power of your Holy Spirit, give us thankful hearts and minds focused on you so that our lives may be full and our example might bring others to you.

In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Confession of Hidden Sin

Also see:

Books, Films, and Ministry

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/Lent_2019

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Confessional Prayer

Road closed
Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Almighty Father,

Forgive me for my many sins, iniquities, and trespasses.

For I have fallen short of your goals for my life,

I have failed to do many things that I should have,

and I have broken trust with your gracious laws.

Have mercy on my through the blood of your son, Jesus Christ,

who lived a sinless life yet was crucified on the cross,

that I might find forgiveness through him.

Hear my prayer. Have compassion on me though I am undeserving.

Fill my heart with your Holy Spirit,

that I might be saved and rest with you eternally.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Confessional Prayer

Also see:

Giving Thanks 

A Place for Authoritative Prayer 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/2jaUhI7

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Lenten Prayer

Celtic Cross
Celtic Cross

by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Holy Father,

In the night, I hear your voice and it gives me comfort,

for I know that you are near and need not fear the darkness.

In the morning, I see your light and I find strength for the day,

knowing that you have ordained it and I need only play my part.

In the afternoon, I hear your footsteps behind me and I do not feel alone,

for your hedge of protection is strong and reliable.

In the evening, I feel your warmth and take comfort in rest,

for you rested on the seventh day and declared it to be holy.

In the shadow of your cross, I confess that my good works are filthy rages in your sight and not all my works are good.

Forgive me, Lord, for the unholy things that I had done and the righteous things that I failed to do,

that I might never leave your presence.

In the power of your Holy Spirit, grant me the strength to forgive the sins of those around me.

In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Lenten Prayer

Also see:

Giving Thanks 

A Place for Authoritative Prayer 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/Lent-2018

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Heros and Children in the Faith: Confession of Sin

wedding-002Heros and Children in the Faith: Confession of Sin

Trinity Presbyterian Church, Herndon, Virginia Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Also, El Shadai in DC, Manassas, Virginia, March 2, 2017.

Welcome

Welcome. My name is Stephen W. Hiemstra. I am a volunteer pastor and a Christian author.

Introduction

Today is Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent, which starts the 40 days before Easter. Because Christ died for our sins, traditionally Lent is a time of reflection over our sins and also over the spiritual disciplines.

The text for today, Psalm 32, focuses on the theme of confession of sin, which can be both bad things we do and good things that we fail to do. Iniquity, the good things that we fail to do, are normally the sins most painful.

Prayer

Let’s pray.

Holy Father. Thank you for your presences among us this morning. We give special thanks that your word still moves our hearts and stimulates our minds. Make your presence especially clear in this moment and this place. In the power of your Holy Spirit, open our eyes and give us ears to hear. In the precious name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Text

The scripture for today comes from Psalm 32:1-5. Hear the word of the Lord:

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.  I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” (Ps 32:1-5 ESV)

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Context

What should I confess? (2X)

During this past year, I wrote a memoir of my spiritual life of some 300 pages. This was the story of my youth, relationships, growing up, education, and professional life. In the middle of this life, I experienced many interesting things and also committed sins of various kinds. Many times the deepest pains of life came when I could not do good when the opportunity arose. This type of sin is described in the Bible as iniquity and, as North Americans, this is the sin that many times screams the loudest.

For example, as a young man of twenty-seven years, I was unable to accept the opportunity to be a missionary in Latin American because I did not have sufficient faith in God and paid too much attention to my personal life—I simply was not ready. In another context, I could not provide emotional support to a friend of mine after she was abused by her own mother because of alcoholism—I wanted to help but did not have the necessary emotional resources. In both cases, I was not obligated to do anything, but the opportunity to do something better in Christ was lost.

Many times iniquity is the most painful sin because we do not have the capacity to do good things when life requires a hero in the faith and we are still babies in the faith. For this reason, Lent also has a focus on the spiritual disciplines which help us to grow more capacity to do good things in Christ.

What do you need to confess? (2X)

Analysis

Psalm 32 was written by King David after his adultery with Bathsheba and his murdering of her husband, Uria the Hittite in 2 Samuel 11 and the disclosure of the Prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 12. His confession is recorded in Psalm 51. But, in Psalm 32 described the experience of David with his confession.

So what did David Say?

In verse 1, David said that it is a blessing to be forgiving. But there is also an interesting sentence: “Whose sin is covered.” This is interesting because the sacrificial system did not cover intention sin, only unintentional sin.[1] God forgave David only because he prayed and his pardon was before the cross of Christ! Psalm 51 is a very important prayer.

What else did David say?

Dave uses different words for sin. Three words are most interesting: sin, transgression, and iniquity. Sin was taken from the word in Hebrew  (‎חֲטָאָֽה) which means to miss an objective like the archer whose arrows fall short of the target. Transgression (פֶּ֗שַׁע) means to break a law. Iniquity (עָוֹ֑ן) means to do something bad or fail to do something good. David’s sins—adultery and murder—were both transgressions of the Ten Commandments.

What elso can we learn from this Psalm?

In verses three and four, David spoke of his depression and guilt for trying to hide his transgressions. But even King David was subject to God’s Law and needed his forgiveness. And we see that his confession resulted in forgiveness and the blessing of God.

What do you need to confess? (2X)

Conclusions

In the context of the church universal, confession is a subjec that Roman Catholics manage better than Protestants perhaps because of their focus today on the spiritual disciplines, such as prayer, Biblical studies, meditation, and confession of sin. Confession, like forgiveness, makes room in our lives for relationships in the community of faith and makes room in the life for better relationships with God.

In the community of faith, confession means that our relationships in the community are more important than our personal guilt. In a competitive world this act of confession is immediately obvious and totally contra-cultural.

Confession is also very important in our relationship with God. Our lives in Christ grow because confession is the beginning of realization that we are not holy like God and we need him.

Consequently, the pain of confession appears in our lives like a sweet sacrifice before a Holy God and as a sign that community in Christ is possible in this time and this place.

What do you need to confess? (2X)

Closing Prayer

Let’s pray.

Holy Father:

Thank you for your love and for giving us the opportunity to confess our sins and be forgiven by means of the cross of Jesus. In the power of your Holy Spirit, help us to forgive the sins of our brothers and sisters in Christ and also the sins of persons that we see every day. In the precious name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

[1] David recognized himself that he had this problem:  “For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.” (Ps 51:16 ESV)

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32. Prayers of a Life in Tension by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Prayers_of_a_Life_in_Tension_webWonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,
Oh Lord, to be like you—strong and wise and patience and peace loving.
Oh, to be a convenant keeper, dependable and steady, a pillar against the wind.
Oh, to offer mercy and grace and patience and love and truth to all that come near.
Hospitality in the desert; peace amidst confusion; security when uncertainty tears at the soul.
Oh Lord, to be like you; to be like you.
Remember us, Lord, but forget the sin that
Depletes our strenghth, leaves us foolish, makes us impatient, and creates dissention.
Remember us, Lord, but forgive our trangressions that
Breaks our promises, leaves us unreliable—like leave blown before the wind.
Remember us, Lord, but wipe away our iniquity that
Leaves us judgmental and arrogant and at odds with all things good and true.
Remember us, Lord, lest we forget ourselves.
In the power of your Holy Spirit grant us a new day
and the strength to live it in a new way
following the example of your Son and our Savior,
Jesus Christ, Amen.

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