“Let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you.” Nehemiah 1:6 (NIV)
Nehemiah lived in exile in the city of Susa. Although he was a prisoner, he had an important job in the palace, that of cupbearer to the king.
His brother Hanani journeyed to Susa. Nehemiah asked about those that survived the exile. What he heard broke his heart. He mourned and fasted and prayed for a lengthy time.
Nehemiah prayed that his God be close so He could hear his requests concerning the people of Israel. He confessed the sins of the Israelites, including himself and his father.
In our 21st Century, we have times when a circumstance burdens us so much that we can only fast and pray about it. Sometimes, we have to include ourselves as participators in the sins that we see around us. When we want to see a situation improve, we may have to search our hearts to see if we might be part of the problem. If we discover that, indeed, we are part of the problem, we are to confess our guilt before God.
We confess our need for God when we approach His throne. As we pray to Him, we learn that we can confess to Him through Jesus Christ.