We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf.
from a prayer of confession in Enriching Our Worship
When I kept quiet, my bones wore out; I was groaning all day long — every day, every night! — because your hand was heavy upon me. My energy was sapped as if in a summer drought. So I admitted my sin to you; I didn’t conceal my guilt. “I’ll confess my sins to the Lord, ” is what I said. Then you removed the guilt of my sin.
When I was in high school, my older cousin was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I knew he was dying, and I knew that I should reach out to tell him how much I loved him. But I felt uncomfortable calling him. Every day, I had a new excuse for not picking up the phone. Eventually, he died, and it was too late.
For a long time, I was too ashamed to talk to anyone about what I had failed to do. At last, I told my pastor, who reminded me that God already knew how much I was suffering and was ready to forgive me. He also reminded me that my cousin was resurrected to a new life with God — even though I could no longer hear his voice, perhaps he could still hear mine.
When I tried to conceal my guilt, I felt miserable and alone. But when I was able to ask God’s forgiveness and tell my cousin how much I still loved him, I finally felt a sense of peace.
Holy God, I can feel my sins sapping my energy, and there are some things I’m too ashamed to tell anyone. Give me the courage to share what is on my heart, so that I can feel your forgiveness and peace. Amen.
May you feel the love of the God who created you, walks beside you, and dwells within you — this day and always.