Photo by @plqml // felipe pelaquim on Unsplash
Forgive us, O Lord, for everything that has spoiled our home life;
for moodiness and irritability that makes us difficult to live with;
for insensitivities that make us careless of the feelings of others;
for selfishness that makes life harder for others.
Forgive us, O Lord, for everything that has spoiled our witness for you;
that so often people would never have known that we had been with Jesus
and pledged ourselves to him;
that we have so often denied with our lives
what we have said with our lips;
for the difference between our creed and our conduct,
our profession and our practice;
for any example that makes it easier for people to criticize your Church
or easier for others to sin.
When we think of ourselves and the ugliness and weakness of our lives,
we thank you for Jesus Christ our Savior.
Grant unto us a true sorrow for our sins.
Grant that at the foot of the Cross, we may find our burdens rolled away.
And so strengthen us by your Spirit that in the days to come,
we may live more nearly as we ought.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
William Barclay, 1907-1978, minister in the Church of Scotland
The Complete Book of Christian Prayer, slightly modified
For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.