Forgive me my sins, O Lord: the sins of my present and the sins of my past; the sins of my soul and the sins of my body; the sins I have done to please myself and the sins which I have done to please others. Forgive me my casual sins and my deliberate sins, and those which I have labored so to hide that I have hidden them even from myself. Forgive me them, O Lord, forgive them all; for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
–Thomas Wilson (d. 1775)
O Merciful God, full of compassion, long-suffering, and of great pity, who by thy mercy sparest us when we deserve punishment; make me earnestly repent, and be heartily sorry for all my sins. Make the remembrance so burdensome and painful, that I may flee to Thee with a troubled spirit and a contrite heart. O merciful Lord, comfort and relieve me; cast me not out of thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Give me in this world knowledge of thy truth, and confidence in thy mercy; and in the world to come life everlasting, for the sake of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. (adapted)
Almighty and merciful Father, whose clemency I now presume to implore, after a long life of carelessness and wickedness, have mercy upon me. I have committed many trespasses; I have neglected many duties. I have done what thou hast forbidden, and left undone what Thou hast commanded. Forgive, merciful Lord, my sins, negligences, and ignorances, and enable me, by the Holy Spirit, to amend my life according to thy Holy Word, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
–Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
I am heartily sorry, and beg pardon for my sins; especially for my little respect and for wandering in my thoughts when in your presence. Amen.
–Lady Lucy Herbert (1669-1744)
O Lord, the house of my soul is narrow; enlarge it so that you may enter in. It is in ruins, O Lord, repair it! I know and I confess that it is displeasing in your sight. But who shall cleanse it, or to whom shall I cry but unto you? Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord, and spare me. Amen.
Dig out of us, O Lord, the venomous roots of covetousness; or else so repress them with your grace, that we may be contented with your provision of necessaries, and not labor, as we do, with all toil, sleight, guile, wrong, and oppression, to pamper ourselves with vain superfluities. Amen.
— Edmund Grindal (1519-1583), Bishop of London
Almighty God, give us a measure of true religion and thereby set us free from vain and disappointing hopes, from lawless and excessive appetites, from frothy and empty joys, from anxious, self-devouring cares, from a dull and black melancholy, from an eating envy and swelling pride, and from rigid sourness and severity of spirit, so that we may possess that peace which passeth all understanding, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
–Benjamin Whichcote (1609-1683), English philosopher
Almighty God, since our minds have so many hidden recesses that nothing is more difficult than thoroughly to purge them from all pretense and lying, grant that we may honestly examine ourselves. May we truly acknowledge our hidden faults and put them far away from us. May we offer you pure worship, and conduct ourselves in the world with a pure conscience. May each of us be so occupied in our duties as to seek our neighbor’s advantage as well as our own. And at last, may we be made partakers of that true glory which you have prepared for us in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, since you delay with so much forbearance the punishments which we have deserved and daily draw on ourselves, grant that we may not indulge ourselves but carefully consider how often and in how many different ways we have provoked your wrath against us. May we learn humbly to present ourselves to you for pardon, and with true repentance, implore your mercy. Let our condition be ever blessed, not by flattering ourselves in our apathy, but by finding you to be our kind and bountiful Father, reconciled to us in your only-begotten Son. Amen.
–John Calvin (1509-1564)
Most great and mighty God, you are the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth, the Creator and Preserver of all things. You dwell in that light which no mortal eye can approach, and yet you do not disdain to behold our darkened souls. Look down on us your unworthy creatures. We humbly thank you for your daily care of us. We beg your pardon for whatsoever you have seen amiss in us this day, in our thoughts, words, or actions. Strengthen us in every good purpose and resolution. Reform whatsoever you see amiss in the temper and disposition of our minds or in any of the habits of our lives; that we may love you more and serve you better, and do your will with greater care and diligence than we have yet done. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
–Warren Hastings (1732-1818) English colonial administrator
Matthew 4:17 — From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
II Corinthians 7:10-11 — Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.
Acts 3:19 — Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
Psalm 51:1…10 — Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.