Another wonderful prayer, from my old friend, Ray. The emphasis is on friend…not old.


Lord, most of all today I’m thankful

that you keep our hearts tender enough

to see our sins—at least occasionally.

Because if it were left up to us, Lord,

we would most likely go on forever deluding ourselves

 about our
goodness and our badness.

We would much rather pay attention

to our struggles and conflicts

 than confess
our sins.

And you know how much more fun it is for us to



and proclaim

each other’s sins than to admit our own.


Were you watching and listening, Lord,

when we decided—

maybe thoughtlessly—

to rid our conversations

our teaching

our preaching

our worship

and our practice

of any thought or reference to

our sins?

Did you notice when we stopped

confessing our sins? 
When we

stopped asking for your forgiveness?

And each other’s forgiveness?


Grant me, and each of us, Lord, the

grace to see ourselves in light

of your truth. 
Deliver us from our daily

temptation to excuse ourselves from the

cleansing rituals of confession and repentance.

Deliver us, O Lord, from

spiritual make-believe.

Love us into light even when, mostly when

we would rather linger in the darkness.

Shine your bright, revealing, blinding

will on us so we may begin to see ourselves

as you see us. 
Then, please, Lord, rescue us

from ourselves. 
Have mercy on us, O Lord,

and forgive the sins we see and confess.