A Prayer: The People of Israel, Past and Present, Confess Sin

By Prophetess Joyce Reba Payne

July 9, 2017

Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Isa 45:20

Neh 9:1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. 2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God. 4 Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the LORD their God. 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the LORD your God forever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. 7 Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; 8 And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous: 9 And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea; 10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day. 11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters. 12 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go. 13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: 14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant: 15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them. 16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, 17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. 18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations; 19 Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go. 20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. 21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not. 22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it. 24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would. 25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness. 26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations. 27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. 28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies; 29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear. 30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands. 31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God. Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee that hath come upon us… (KJV)

We pray…

 Father God, we see the troubles that have come upon our churches and preachers, on our political leaders, on our homes, and that which have fallen upon our sons and daughters as you have foretold to us (Jer 16) and as it is this day. Our forefathers and mothers were brought to this land in chains and put into slavery as you warned us through the prophets (Is 45:14). Our people have suffered hardship and bondage because our forefathers and mothers sinned and we, their seed, have sinned. Yet you heard the cry of our elders in their suffering as you have heard our cry and have sent us deliverance through your servants whom you led to speak for you and on our behalf. We thank you, Father, that you have brought us out of hard bondage and many of our people have received blessings as you promised and have flourished in this land. But our hearts have not stayed faithful and we have begun to walk away from you because of the wonderful things you have given us. You forewarned us of the consequences we would experience if we walked away from you. We have begun to see the deterioration of the blessings we received and oppressors appointed to us because of our disobedience.

We confess that we, as all of our people, have sinned and have broken covenant with you by not obeying your word and voice. We do this day acknowledge our sin and that we deserve your displeasure in us because of our disobedience. But Father, we remember your great mercy which you have shown throughout the generations toward our people and we are mindful of the prayer by King Solomon (1Ki 8:47-51) and the prophets that followed, to whom you promised to forgive our sins even in the latter days if we would repent, turn from our wicked ways and call upon you (2Ch 7:14). You promised to remember us, be merciful and forgive us. Father God, we are not righteous of ourselves or without sin as we call upon you but we are mindful of your great mercy shown toward the people of your heart in your sending an Intercessor for our sins and His pleasing sacrifice on our behalf. Because of the great favor you found in your only begotten, Son, Jesus Christ, we call upon you to have mercy upon us as we repent and turn our hearts back to you. Father, remember us and forgive us, our churches, our families, our political leaders, our descendants, our land and our homes as we call upon you. Father, we pray that you would bless us and deliver us from all bondage and servitude we have experienced in this place and from all the places you have scattered us (Deu 4:27) because of our disobedience. We pray that you would bring us into your bounty and bless us as you have promised. We ask that you restore us to a place of obedience. Perfect our hearts toward you and give us a greater love for your word and fellowship with you. Help us to love our neighbors and our enemies as you commanded (Mat 19:19; Mat 5:44). We need a cleansing and healing Father that only you can perform. We fall upon your mercy and call upon your grace to forgive, heal and restore us. We reject and throw off all false deities and renew our covenant with you. We acknowledge that you alone are our God and we are dependent upon you alone for our life. Reveal to us what you would have us to do. Hear this, our prayer we pray in Jesus name, Heavenly Father, as we wait upon you. Amen.

 

By the mercy of God and the grace we receive through Jesus Christ, the truth has been revealed to our people and now it behooves us to acknowledge that we have missed God’s perfect will for us and confess our waywardness to Him, asking for forgiveness and healing. The pride of the biblical people and their refusal to obey God led them to Babylonian captivity. Like the religious leaders of biblical Jerusalem, people can assume today because God has been with them that He will continue to be with them even though they wallow in sin. Jesus cried over Jerusalem and suffered for them, but they would not be turned from their sin and they, in stubbornness, continued to believe they were in the will of God. Jesus challenged the religious leaders to search the scriptures and see that it foretold of Him and that very moment (John 5:39). The scriptures are a mirror to reveal to us our own heart and truth for any stage of our life. The time that we are presently living in is described in scriptures. Though some hearts obey it does not preclude God dealing with us as a people. Let’s pray, seek the mercy and favor of God through Jesus Christ and turn our hearts fully back to Him.

        But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. Isa 45:17

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