O Lord our God, you know who we are;
People with good consciences and with bad,
Persons who are content and those who are discontent,
The certain and the uncertain,
Christians by conviction and Christians by convention,
Those who believe and those who half-believe, those who disbelieve.
And you know where we have come from:
From the circle of relatives, acquaintances and friends,
Or from the greatest loneliness; from a life of quiet prosperity,
From family relationships that are well-ordered or from those disordered . . .
From the inner circle of the Christian community or from its outer edge.
But now we all stand before you,
In all our differences,
Yet alike in that we are all in the wrong with you and with one another,
That we must all one day die,
That we would be lost without your grace,
But also in that your grace is promised and made available to us all in your dear Son, Jesus Christ
Karl Barth, German theologian (1886-1968) (from Kurt Bjorkland, Prayers for Today, p. 176)