How can these cold, dead prayers be so right?

The Anglican Church might be considered to be a “cold, dead” denomination by some evangelical Christians. However, I challenge you to look over these prayers of penitence and consider taking them to heart.

Form 1

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.
Let the wicked abandon their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Turn back to the Lord, who will have mercy; to our God who will richly pardon. [compare Isaiah 55]

Pause for silent self-examination.

Lord God, we have sinned against you; we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent. Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us and restore to us the joy of your salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  [compare Psalm 51]

May the Father of all mercies cleanse us from our sins, and restore us in his image to the praise and glory of his name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Blessed be the Lord, who has heard the voice of our prayer.
Therefore shall our hearts dance for joy and in our song will we praise our God. [Psalm 28.7,9]

Form 2

Come, Holy Spirit of God, and search our hearts with the light of Christ.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said, The first commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Lord, have mercy.

Pause for reflection.

Come, let us return to the Lord and say: Lord our God, in our sin we have avoided your call. Our love for you is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes away early. Have mercy on us; deliver us from judgement; bind up our wounds and revive us; in Jesus Christ our Lord. [Compare Hosea 6.]

May almighty God, who sent his Son into the world to save sinners, bring us his pardon and peace, now and for ever.

Form 3

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and of great kindness.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our wickedness. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his mercy upon those who fear him.

Pause for silent reflection.

Holy God, Holy and strong, Holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he set our sins from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so is the Lord merciful towards those who fear him.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. [Compare Psalm 103.]

Form 4

When we cry out to the Lord in our trouble, he will deliver us from our distress. God will bring us out of darkness and out of the shadow of death.

Briefly express your penitence during your petitions of the Kyrie.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
May the Father forgive us by the death of his Son and strengthen us to live in the power of the Spirit all our days.

Let us give thanks to the Lord for his goodness, and the wonders he does for his children. Let us offer him sacrifices of thanksgiving and tell of his acts with shouts of joy. [Compare Psalm 107.]


Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed. We have not loved thee with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. In Thy mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thee, our God. Amen.

All Almighty and most merciful Father, we have wandered and strayed from your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires
of our own hearts. We have offended against your holy laws. We have left undone those things that we ought to have done; and we have done those things that we ought not to have done; and there is no health in us.
But you, O Lord, have mercy upon us sinners. Spare those who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent, according to your promises declared to mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may live a disciplined, righteous and godly life, to the glory of your holy name.

Almighty God, long-suffering and of great goodness:
I confess to you, I confess with my whole heart my neglect and forgetfulness of your commandments, my wrong doing, thinking, and speaking; the hurts I have done to others, and the good I have left undone.
O God, forgive me, for I have sinned against you; and raise me to newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


May the God of love and power forgive you and free you from your sins, heal and strengthen you by his Spirit, and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord.

May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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