Effective Praying Requires Confessing The Sin In Our Lives

January 11, 2023

Effective Praying Requires Confessing The Sin In Our Lives

Nehemiah - “I confess that we have sinned against You. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that You gave us through your servant Moses.” (Nehemiah 1:6-7)

The Israelites had disobeyed God. As a result, God said, "All right, if you don't obey me you're going to lose the land of Israel." And they did. Because of their disobedience, they lost Jerusalem, they lost their Temple and they were taken into foreign captivity.

DAILY DEVOTION

Part one of Nehemiah's prayer is focused on the identity and the greatness of God. In it, Nehemiah is saying "God, you're a great God. You're awesome! You keep your promises!" Part two of Nehemiah’s prayer is focused on confession. Nehemiah prays and confesses to God saying "We have sinned." It’s interesting that Nehemiah includes himself in the confession saying "I confess... myself... my father's house ... we have acted wickedly ... we have not obeyed." It wasn't Nehemiah's fault the Israelites went into captivity. He wasn't even born when this happened seventy years earlier. He was most likely born in captivity. Yet, he is including himself in the national sins. He humbly confesses "I've been a part of the problem".

Nehemiah made a personal and national confession to the Lord. This is something we don't know much about. We don't have a corporate sense in America today. We are very individualistic. We're taught to confess our own sins. When was the last time you confessed for the sins of the nation, your family, your church, or your friends? We typically don't think that way. Our society has taught us that we’re only responsible for ourselves. And that's just not true! We’re all in this together. Nehemiah says "Not only do I have personal sin to confess but I have corporate sin. I'll accept the blame for other things.

Great Leaders “accept the blame” while Losers “pass the buck.” If we want to be leaders, we should accept the blame and share the credit. Losers are accusers and excusers. they're always making excuses for why things didn't or couldn't happen, It's always somebody else's fault. Leaders accept the blame. "We have sinned against You." The point is that all sin is ultimately against God. When we break human laws we are ultimately offending God. When we hurt others, we're ultimately hurting God. David said, "Against Thee and Thee only have I sinned" (Psalm 51:4) when he had committed adultery and murder. But he knew the sin was against God. Leaders accept the blame and participate in confession. Without that confession, we are far less likely to have our prayers answered.

FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY

Make a private list of sins you need to admit to the Lord, based on this devotion. Then pray and confess each one to Him. If you’re leading your family through this activity, guide each member to make a private list and then confess their sin to the Lord individually

PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, we have sinned against You. Help us to humbly confess our sin and the sins of our family, our friends, our church, our city, and our nation.

Today is Day Four of our 14 Days of Prayer and Fasting. If you have yet to participate, consider joining us. For more info, see celebrationchurch.org/prayerfasting

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