“I never understood why going to church made you a hypocrite… because nobody goes to church because they’re perfect. If you’ve got it all together, you don’t need to go. You can go jogging with all the other perfect people on Sunday morning. Every time you go to church, you’re confessing again to yourself, to your family, to the people you pass on the way there, to the people who will greet you that you don’t have it all together. And that you need their support. You need their direction. You need some accountability; you need some help.” — Rich Mullins
I have much to learn about the Book of Common Prayer as an Anglican. One great help I have found in my prayer life is the Great Litany. It helps order my prayers on a daily basis.Read more
In this season, it’s not just about “our” sins (on a personal level), but OUR sins as a whole.
When Daniel gave confession for Israel, he didn’t lay it on those who had gone before. He had done nothing wrong in his life to personally bring Israel into captivity, but in this prayer, he inserts himself into the confession. Note how many times he uses “WE.”
In our confessions, we don’t need to blame the other person or group. We need to genuinely realize it’s US… together… that need prayer.
4 As I prayed to the Lord my God, I made this confession:
Please, my Lord—you are the great and awesome God, the one who keeps the covenant, and truly faithful to all who love him and keep his commands: 5 We have sinned and done wrong. We have brought guilt on ourselves and rebelled, ignoring your commands and your laws. 6 We haven’t listened to your servants, the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our leaders, our parents, and to all the land’s people. 7 Righteousness belongs to you, my Lord! But we are ashamed this day—we, the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, all Israel whether near or far, in whatever country where you’ve driven them because of their unfaithfulness when they broke faith with you.8 Lord, we are ashamed—we, our kings, our leaders, and our parents who sinned against you. 9 Compassion and deep forgiveness belong to my Lord, our God, because we rebelled against him. 10 We didn’t listen to the voice of the Lordour God by following the teachings he gave us through his servants, the prophets. (Dan. 9:4-10)
It’s so easy for us to pray, “Lord, forgive us (but what I really mean is that group over there)…”
Today… let’s pray with Daniel.