“We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against You.”
Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet for good reason. His heart broke over the sins of his people. He wept for a nation who steadfastly refused to listen to God’s rebuke, “My soul will weep in secret for your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly” (Jeremiah 13:17). God’s discipline of the nation brought a decimating drought, which in turn drove Jeremiah to his knees. Notice how the sorrowful prophet begins his prayer – it’s not with an accusatory “they” but with a humble “we.”
Finger-pointing comes easy when our vision is horizontal, but before a holy God, it’s hard to ignore the ugly truth of our own heart. Jeremiah wasn’t alone in his inclusion of his personal sin with that of his nation. The prophet Isaiah lamented, “So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5)
Our own nation is in grave peril and the necessity of intercessory prayer grows daily but may we first judge ourselves equally in need of forgiveness with heartfelt confessions of “we have sinned.” May God grant us mercy.
– Pastor Jack
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