Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silence, my body 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. Selah
Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah
I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.
Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
Most merciful God,
That we are captive to sin
And cannot free ourselves.
We have sinned against you
In thought, word, and deed,
By what we have done
And by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you
With our whole heart;
We have not loved
Our neighbors as ourselves.
For the sake
Of your Son, Jesus Christ,
Have mercy on us.
Forgive us, renew us, and lead us,
So that we may delight in your will
And walk in your ways,
To the glory of your holy name.
Many of us say these words, or a variation, weekly in worship. We then hear the Pastor respond “God forgives us all our sins.” Unburdened, we can proceed to hear the Word and worship the God whose grace has saved us.
Praise the God of Forgiveness, whose steadfast love surrounds us.
Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it. I am weak in the faith; strengthen me. I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor. I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether. O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in you. In you I have sealed the treasure of all I have. I am poor; you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor. I am a sinner; you are upright. With me, there is an abundance of sin; in you is the fullness of righteousness. Therefore I will remain with you, of whom I can receive, but to whom I may not give.
A Prayer of Martin Luther, taken from Evangelical Lutheran Worship.