A Public Confession of Sins and Prayer Before the Sermon

Heavenly Father, eternal and merciful God, we acknowledge and confess before your divine majesty that we are poor wretched sinners. We were conceived and born in sin and corruption, and are inclined to all manner of evil and incapable by nature of doing any good. We also transgress your holy commandments continually. We grieve you by our sins and bring judgment on ourselves because of them. But, Lord, we are truly sorry for our sins, by which we have provoked you to anger. Our conscience accuses us and we acknowledge that we are to blame for our sinfulness and transgressions. Yet we plead for your mercy on the ground of the suffering of your dear Son, Jesus Christ. Have compassion on us, gracious God and Father, and forgive us our sins for the sake of his death. Grant us also the grace of your Holy Spirit, that he may teach us to confess our sins sincerely and to know our wretchedness. May he so lead us that we die to sin, rise up to a new life, and bring forth fruits of holiness and righteousness acceptable to you through Jesus Christ.

Make us understand your holy Word in accordance with your divine will, so that we may learn to put our trust in you alone and not in any creature. May our old nature with all its evil desires be put to death day by day and may we present ourselves a living sacrifice to you, to the honour of your name and the benefit of our neighbour.

We also implore you, gracious God, to bring back to yourself in true repentance all who depart from your truth, that we all with one accord may serve you through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

(Or: … who taught us to pray, Our Father … )

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