We have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly, and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.
— Daniel 9:5–6 —
Greg White: Grace Bible Seminary | Ukraine
Have you ever been so concerned with God’s honor that you were led to confess not only your own sin but also the sins of those around you? Have you ever prayed, “Lord, we have sinned”? In this passage, Daniel identifies with his people and confesses on behalf of the nation. He confesses sin of which he had not personally partaken—at least not that we know of from the Scriptures. And yet he is moved to confess these sins with the hope that God would have compassion and the nation would be reconciled to God. Though true prayer may contain many elements, one of the most vital is confession. It is the heart of a repentant man who cares deeply about God’s honor among the people. Daniel includes himself in the confession. He acknowledges that he is no better than anyone else. He admits his own sinfulness, having fallen short of God’s standard of holy living. He repents, which means that he willfully turns away from sin and toward obedience. And he hopes the same for his nation. Though true prayer may contain many elements, one of the most vital is confession. To confess is to acknowledge our failures to honor God as He deserves. This can include, as it did with Daniel’s prayer, sin, and iniquity, acts of rebellion, disobedience to known commandments, or a dismissal of the clear teaching of God’s word. Like the men of God who have come before us, make confession a regular part of your prayer life. And remember: God will not despise a contrite heart (Psa. 51:17).