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a lenten prayer for mercy

Father, I have sinned,
By what I have done, And by what I have left undone. Oh, so much left undone. 

I have not loved you with my whole heart. I have not loved my neighbor as myself. I have not loved my enemy. 

I have not shared my food with the hungry. I have not sheltered the homeless. I have not clothed the naked. I have hidden myself from my own flesh and blood.

I have turned my eyes from the world’s tear-streaked faces.  I have shut my ears to the cries of the wounded. I have closed my hands around my own comfort.  I have walked away from the call to freedom.

But you are the same God,  Who always delights in showing mercy, Who is compassionate and gracious, Who abounds in steadfast love.

I am torn as I cry for mercy. 

Mercy,  Not that I may live in peace, But that I may have strength to fight. 

Mercy,  Not to balm a guilty conscience,  But to have courage to face my guilt. 

Mercy,  Not to gently rock my soul to sleep, But to shake me awake for good.

Father, show me mercy Only if that mercy transforms, reforms,…

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