This verse says: « I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens. »
My brother, my sister, how do you pray for others, especially for family members who are living in sin? When we look at the Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah, we see examples of how these servants of God repented for curses in their families.
In today’s verse Ezra’s repentance shows us how to do things right: Ezra found out that other Israelites have sinned. He had not committed this particular sin with them. Others had! Yet, when he heard about it, he did not spend the whole day calling people to tell them what others had done, he did not judge them. Instead, the Bible said he spent a full day in mourning, and then prayed in full identification with his fellow Israelites who had sinned.
Unfortunately, today’s church often does the opposite. When we hear about the ways Christians have failed to do what is right before God, we don’t immediate identify with those Christians and ask God to forgive OUR sins. Worse, when our family members are doing wrong things identified as sin, the first great temptation we fall into most of the time is to distance ourselves from such them.
But today’s verse shows us how to pray for forgiveness or repent for others: we must identify with those living in sin or committing sin as there appears to be some power in this kind of repenting on behalf of others. Look, Ezra’s repentance in chapter 9 paves the way for the rest of the people to repent in chapter 10. What Ezra did, they all did too: yes, they will mourn their sins and renew their covenant with God and return to the Lord.
Let’s learn to do things the way that pleases God and stop helping the devil by becoming the accusers of our brethren. Only Jesus was capable of praying saying « Father, forgive THEM »… because He was sinless.
Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.