Home Worship Planning Seasons & Holidays Prayer of Confession Based on Psalm 23

Prayer of Confession Based on Psalm 23

Invitation to Confession

We love the Twenty-Third Psalm. We say it prayerfully in seasons of sorrow; recite its comforting words in periods of uncertainty; rehearse the assurance it offers for times of trial; and claim its promises as the very structural support of our faith and life. -- At least we claim to so do. But maybe its words can also guide us in a moment of confession. Let us join together in silent confession, guided by the words and thoughts of the Twenty-Third Psalm.

Prayer of Confession

Leader: "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want." With these words I am saying that God provides me with everything I need, but do I really believe that?

Silent Confession

Leader: "He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul." If God is restoring my soul, why do I feel so tired, so exhausted, so "run thin," so overwhelmed?

Silent Confession

Leader: "He leads me in right paths for his name's sake." Am I really living my life on the right path in every aspect of my life? Would I be comfortable and even proud to have God along with me everywhere I go?

Silent Confession

Leader: "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff -- they comfort me." Then why am I always looking elsewhere for comfort and protection? Why do I have so many fears?

Silent Confession

Leader: "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." I wonder what my life would look like if I really did trust God. I wonder how I would view others, including enemies, if I really believed God to be beside me.

Silent Confession

Leader: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long." Am I confident that God goes with me? Am I confident that I will live with God forever?

Silent Confession

Words of Assurrance

The words are sure and true: the Lord is our Shepherd and provides for us everything we need. Know that God is with you now, forgiving you, rejoicing to be in your presence and willing to transform you by the power of the Holy Spirit into true and full disciples of the Son, Jesus, the Crucified and Resurrected One. Amen.


The Rev. Dr. Steven F. Plymale currently serves as the Lead Pastor at Mount Pisgah UMC and as Adjunct Professor of New Testament at the Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University, Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Plymale has been under appointment for almost 40 years. Much of his study and writing has been devoted to prayer in the New Testament.

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