Most Merciful God
Most Merciful God
I wrote this song while I was in seminary in New York City. I had started making my transition from evangelicalism to Anglicanism, but I hadn't quite arrived there yet. For years I was pulled into the early practices and traditions of the Church. I wanted something other that what I had become numb to my whole life: Pop-Culture Evangelicalism. On the verge of losing my faith, I found God again in a new tradition and it saved my faith.
While I was at seminary, we followed a monastic rhythm of prayer - morning, midday, and evening prayer. Every day we prayed the scriptures, said the creeds, prayed the prayer of confession, and took communion.
This song is inspired from the Prayer of Confession in the Book of Common Prayer. This prayer is a part of the daily lives of active Anglicans, while it is not just Anglicans who pray this prayer. It something that is prayed every day.
For me the most important part of the prayer are the opening words:
"Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves."
Ritualistic spirituality is important to me because it has saved my faith. The ancients words carry me when I have nothing to say to God. I pray that we can all learn to humble ourselves in confession and learn that we have not loved God with our whole heart and that we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. The more we acknowledged this, confess it, repent of it, and remain open to the Holy Spirit moving in us, the more we will be formed in the likeness of Christ. Amen. (Will Retherford)
Most merciful God, we confess our words
We confess our thoughts
Most merciful God, we confess our deeds
What we've left undone
A Bm D
We have not loved you with our whole heart
A Bm G
We have not loved those as they should be loved
For the sake of your son, Jesus Christ
Have mercy on us, forgive us
That we may delight in your will
And walk in your ways to the glory of your name
Strengthen us in goodness by your Spirit
Keep us in eternal life