“Father, I come before you today as a wretch. I come as one who has repeatedly, continuously turned from your grace. For so long have I run from you. For so long have I kept returning only to leave again. Time and time again have I fully known what is right and good, and time and time again have I chosen the other way. Father, for so long have I requested green pastures and quiet waters only to choose to remain in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. My life has only occasionally been lived in a way that matches Your Gospel. For so long I have been hypocritical of hypocrites with a plank lodged in my own eye. I have been impatient in the things of Your will. I have not trusted that Your plan is better than mine. I have turned my nose up at the sight of Your will in my life for Your people.
Father, I often do not even see people who are different than me. I have become so desensitized to the hurt in Your world. I have taken detours to avoid Your plans. Over and over again, I have turned away at the sight of those in need. Constantly I set my mind on the things of this world and block out the things of heaven. I have turned to the wrong places for comfort. I have told myself that I belong here. I have pointed the finger at others. I have excluded those who need belonging the most.
Father, I have been ashamed of the cross. I have been terrified of what people will say and what they will think. I have given you only pieces of who I am. I have cheated You. Day in and day out I have put myself ahead of You. I have proclaimed the words of Your Gospel but failed to live it. I encourage people to share their faith while masking my own. I have told half-truths. I have blamed You for my shortcomings. I have projected anger at myself onto others. I have hurt those whom I love. I have used my words to hurt others. For so long I have longed for personal recognition. I have accepted praise. I have repeatedly fed my own ego by tearing others down. I have put my wants in front of the needs of others. I have been afraid of the future. I have been afraid of my departure from this world. I have been afraid of Your calling.
Father, for all of these things, forgive me.”
Son, I know. I know your faults. I created You. Since the beginning, I have had a plan for you, yes you! You are so valued. I knit you together in your mother’s womb. I know everything that you have done and everything that you will ever do, and I still want you. You are mine! Do not be impatient, for everything that you could ever need is already taken care of. I got this! In your time on earth, there are tough times, but I will never leave you! Come to me, I am all that you need. I am all that you will ever need. I created the sun, moon, and stars, but you, you are in my own image! I have given you a heart, a heart with which to love my creation. You were not created to count your flaws, but rather, you were created to reflect me! You are imperfect, you make mistakes, and you always will, but I have made you righteous! I have washed you and made you clean! I know how many hairs are on your head, I know all of the sins that you left out, I know what you did last week, and son, even after all of that, YOU ARE MINE!
In all those things, I AM. From the beginning until now, I AM. From now until forever, I AM.