A Prayer of Penitence for the Church
We are ashamed, O God, for our carelessness in worship, for wandering mind and thoughtless prayer. We are ashamed that words of praise come so swiftly to our lips but so slowly to our hearts. We are ashamed that we hear the name of Jesus but act as if he were a stranger.

Forgive us for our jealousies in the church, and for the irritations which so easily win the day. Forgive us for the times when we can see plainly what needs to be done, and complain that others do not do it.

Give us, O Lord, a vision of our church set as it is among people who do not know Christ as Lord, and give to us a deepened faith, an understanding love, a ready wit and the Holy Spirit's uncommon sense. So may we live, and so preach, that our neighbours may want to know the source of the joy we shall have, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
author unknown (adapted by Michael Saward)