July 15 – Ezra’s Prayer for the People’s Sins – Ezra 9
Today we read an extraordinary prayer that is offered on behalf of others. Ezra, a prophet of God, confesses the sins of Israel. He comes to God on his knees with his clothes torn (a sign of heavy sorrow and grief). This is a heartfelt prayer coming from Ezra in hopes of a desired end. Can Ezra confess the sins of someone else, and God forgive them? No. Everyone must ask forgiveness of their own sins! What was the outcome of such a prayer then? Repentance must begin somewhere. Ezra started it, and the contagious spirit of wanting to get right with God was infectious to others. In the next chapter we find men, women, and children weeping in repentance. This all began with a man praying on behalf of others. Who should you pray on the behalf of today?