This prayer was used for confession of sins at the Lutheran church I recently attended. It certainly touches on some of my besetting sins, so maybe you will see yourself in it as well.
Almighty God, merciful Father,
We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. We have done things we should not have done, and we have failed to do the things we should have done. We have been impatient. We have grumbled. We have been critical of others and we have been difficult. We have used coarse language and have taken Your name in vain. We have sought and received Your forgiveness and, then, we have refused to forgive our neighbor. Father, forgive us, renew us, and lead us so that we may be merciful, even as You are merciful. Amen
The answer to this question was in my daily devotional reading today. The quote is from the writings of J.F. Clark (1810-1888), an American theologian and writer.
“We need to know that our sins are forgiven. And how shall we know this? By feeling that we have peace with God,–by feeling that we are able so to trust in the divine compassion and infinite tenderness of our Father, as to arise and go to Him, whenever we have sinned and say at once to Him, ‘Father, I have sinned, forgive me.’ To know that we are forgiven, it is only necessary to look at our Father’s love till it sinks into our heart, to open our soul to Him till He shall pour His love into it; to wait on Him till we find peace, till our conscience no longer torments us, till we can feel that our sins, great as they are, cannot keep us away from our Heavenly Father.”
P.S. Lutherans also know they are forgiven when they receive the absolution every week as part of the liturgy. What a blessing! As Martin Luther said about the Gospel– We need to hear it every week because we forget it every week.