Redeeming God, we confess that we frequently set our minds on matters of the flesh and fail to submit ourselves to the rule of your life-giving Spirit. How can we please you when we shrink from trouble and persecution, when we lack the courage and faith to withstand times of testing? How can we please you when we allow the cares of the world to lure us away from you, when we so easily surrender your blessing and joy? Forgive us, O God, and give us courage, strength, and healing! Help us redirect our aims and our attitudes toward you. Let the seal of your Holy Spirit remain upon us and the Spirit of Christ abide within us, that we might share in the eternal life of the One who died to set us free from sin.