We have sung it innumerable times, O Lord, our God; we have repeated the words that still comfort, encourage, and inspire us: “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.” It is sweet because we know our need and we know your provision.
We know inside the deepest recesses of our lives that we have not done all the things you have wanted us to do; we have done things we know we ought not to have done. These we confess before You now. … We recognize that we have not the power, the strength to overcome the sins that beset us; otherwise we would have ceased. Your grace comes in our need, to our aid, and stands for us in presenting our petitions before Your throne.
We live in a world so deeply in need of grace; You send us as Your emissaries. So often have we failed. Forgive us, we humbly pray. We are prone to responding to the pain and confusion of the world in the world’s own way; we’ve encountered the darkness, but have shed insufficient light. We talk about that darkness in many ways, but too seldom bring the light of grace to bear upon it, to dispel the blindness and bring wholeness to life by means of Your own word.
For the grace of forgiveness, we pray. We also pray that our hearts will be as forgiving as Yours. For the grace of second chances, third chances and many more, we give You humble thanks; teach us not to condemn as worthless those who need to know that their lives, too, still matter, regardless of what they have done.
For the grace of hope, the boundless future awaiting those You are redeeming, we offer joyful praise; teach to live in ways that communicate that hope is real, its dream secure, its way through love.
For the grace to bear the trials and tribulations, the disappointments and the pain that comes to all in a broken world, we pray. Teach us to live above the world, seated where Christ is seated, above the power of anything in this world. Then will people ask us about the hope that lies within.
And so for the sick, the poor, the homeless, the jobless, we pray. And for our faithfulness to Jesus we pray, even as the church has prayed for centuries,
Our Father . . .