“O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God […] let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you.” (Nehemiah 1:5-6)
When King Solomon dedicated the temple in Jerusalem, the Lord promised him that He would hear the people’s humble prayers — even if they were in trouble as a consequence of their own sins!
The sad thing is that many people, back then and nowadays, don’t turn away from their sinful ways. They don’t humble themselves before God.
The Bible offers several examples where faithful individuals pleaded for mercy on behalf of their people who had turned their back on the Lord God. When the Israelites had worshiped a golden calf instead of the Lord, He wanted to destroy them. But their leader Moses begged Him to stop — and God listened to him (see Psalm 106:23).
In Ezekiel 22:30, God says there was nobody to fulfill this role of ‘advocate’, and therefore judgment came. Later on, Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah confessed the sins their people had committed and prayed for them, even though they personally had not taken part in most of the people’s transgressions. What a blessing these men were for their nation!
Are you ready to humbly “seek God’s face” on behalf of your country? What are the sins you need to confess? What are the needs you are praying for most?