Daily Word

Model corporate confession | Ezra 9:6-9 (AMP)

6 and I said, “O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our wrongdoings have risen higher than our heads and our guilt has grown to the heavens. 7 Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been exceedingly guilty; and on account of our wrongdoings we, our kings, and our priests have been handed over to the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to complete shame, as it is today.

8 But now for a brief moment grace has been [shown to us] from the Lord our God, who has left us a surviving remnant and has given us a peg (secure hold) in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a little reviving in our bondage. 9 For we are slaves; yet our God has not abandoned us in our bondage, but has extended lovingkindness to us before the kings of Persia, to revive us to rebuild the house of our God, to repair the site of its ruins and to give us a wall [of protection] in Judah and Jerusalem.

Ezra 9:6-9 (AMP)

Prayer of confession

Ezara begins his prayer of confession which extends to v15. First he addresses the background – the pattern of sin, turning from God’s loving commands, and the current consequence. He then acknowledges God’s hand of grace – despite their sin, He has preserved His people. Tomorrow we’ll see that he then confesses the specific sin along with it’s practical consequence and God’s justification in punishing that sin. It serves as a model prayer for confession of sin on behalf of the community, or nation.

Model prayer

There are other model prayers like this. These come to mind:

  • David confessed the sins of previous generations and his (and the nation’s) complicity in it. “Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness” (Psalm 106:6-8)
  • In Daniel 9:3-19, Daniel confesses the nation’s sin yet includes himself – though he was one of the most righteous men in the Bible
  • Nehemiah, Ezra’s contemporary, prayed in Nehemiah 1:5-11 for his Nation’s sins, and also includes himself with the guilty
  • Nehemiah prays again in Nehemiah 9:5-37, the longest of the four with the same sentiments.

In this together

Ezra doesn’t hold himself aloof from the offending Jews. Rather, he sees that not only is he a Jew but also a sinner. We’re in this boat together. We share accountability and responsibility.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

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