I Have Failed You

Ausbund, 49

Lord God, I cry to you in great distress! I have fallen into deep sin. I have shamefully despised your grace.

The enemy turned me away from you, and convinced me it would be all right. But the damage done by my misdeed is very great. My conscience is stained and I am in great pain.

Sorrow engulfs me, anxiety clutches at my heart. I am weighed down and weak, my joy is gone. Sorrow draws my soul into the anguish of death. The bow of death stands drawn, aiming at my soul.

I have failed you. I had promised Lord, to keep your Word and commandments. I said I would do so in love and adversity, at all times, persevering unto the end. But I let go and fell back. Through my great carelessness and disregard for your will, this happened to me.

Now I lament, not the punishment you give me that I fully deserve, but the damage I have done to you. Forgive me Lord for still calling you Father. I am not worthy of doing that, or of considering myself your child.

To be your slave would be an honour for me, for I have done you great evil.

I have sinned against heaven and earth. The burden of my guilt overwhelms me and I cannot free myself from it unless you show your grace to me. Therefore I ask you Lord, have mercy on me! I acknowledge my immeasurably great sin and repent from it with all my heart.

And now, praise God, I see the work that Christ has done is infinitely greater than all my sin!

Wash me clean, Lord, through your blood alone! This is my plea. My hope remains in you. You comforted me and forgave my sin, Lord, through your holy name. Now take me out of my guilt back into your protection through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Martin Dürr, 1528, Augsburg, Bayern, Germany

Written after his capture with many others, where he recanting under torture, and turned back to Christ.

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