Inspired by Daniel 9:1-19
“O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and rebelled, we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kinds, our princes, our fathers, and to all the people of the land. “(Daniel 9:4-6 NIV)
“Lord you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame…” Daniel (9:7a) my church, my town, my state, and my country, Lord, they are covered with shame.
We know what you desire.
We have read your words, but have twisted your truth to keep ourselves from feeling that shame.
We have stripped people, made in your image, of the dignity their lives deserved and have beaten and bred them like animals to make money.
We have turned our eyes away from the truth of your word and justified those who chose to do so as a way to fund your work.
We have treated those who are different than us as less than – even when James spoke that that kind of favoritism is evil.
We have ignored injustice.
We have made our politics our idol and have justified it when our favorite political leaders brag about sin.
We have given away the responsibility you gave us as a church of caring for widows, orphans, migrants, and those who are sick to the government.
We have allowed our love to grow cold for other believers when our tribalism became more important than the truth and your command to “love one another deeply, because love covers a multitude of sin.” (1Peter 4:8)
We have allowed the lives of precious little ones to be used as a political tool to shout soundbites and slogans at each other rather than seeing a mother in crisis and loving her.
We have sought the adoration of the public and media over faithful service in obscurity.
We have allowed ministers who declare your word on Sunday to physically, sexually, and spiritually abuse those under their leadership.
We have hidden that egregious sin, justifying it – “See what good we are doing”.
YOU SAW IT ALL
We have taught a generation how to love and obey your word- only to turn away from the very things we taught when it gave us power.
We have pushed away that generation who were hurt and confused by that kind of behavior.
That generation went to the world, because it seemed like you were a tool only to be used to control them. Who Jesus is in the Bible isn’t the same as what they were taught.
We numbed ourselves instead of confessing our sins and repenting.
We sought distraction on social media or streaming services, because it was easier than trying to build a relationship with you.
We distorted your word to justify our agenda.
We feel we can justify our sins if we just serve hard enough.
We slandered your name when we tore down other believers.
We let our anger outrun our love.
We are prideful.
We are wicked.
We are filled with evil.
We treat your Holy Spirit like a trained animal who will do what we say when we say it or we dismiss the power of your Holy Spirit.
The power that raised Jesus from the dead and is set as a seal guaranteeing our salvation, we treat as something that is not needed or at work anymore.
We have sinned, and we have not repented.
You held your anger and let us experience the consequences for our actions and our sins.
Lord, I want to repent. We must repent.
I want to turn. We need to turn.
I want to seek you. We have to seek you.
I want to rid myself of the sins the easily entangle me over and over again. We need the freedom from those sins to run the race you have for us.
“Now, or God, hear our prayers and petitions of your servants. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor” at our desperate condition. “Give ear and hear – look and see our repentance.” (Daniel 9:17 NIV)
“We do not make requests of you because we are righteous but because of your great mercy. O Lord listen! O Lord forgive! O Lord, hear and act.” (Daniel 9:18-19 NIV)
O merciful God, raise up a generation that humbly seeks you.
Humble those of us who have sinned, so we too can repent and be filled to overflowing with the power of your Holy Spirit.