What Ezra Prayed For – Their Sins


In the post What Ezra Prayed For – Intermarriage, Ezra addressed the peoples’ unfaithfulness. Some in Israel had disobeyed God’s command not to intermarry with certain peoples God had identified, but they had taken “some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.”

When Ezra prayed for their sins, we did not see how he approached the LORD God. I believe it is key in helping us understand ABroken Spirit and A Contrite Heart. Listen to the revelation of Ezra’s heart in a part of his prayer:

5 Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the LORD my God 6 and prayed:

   “O my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens. 7 From the days of our forefathers until now, our guilt has been great. Because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been subjected to the sword and captivity, to pillage and humiliation at the hand of foreign kings, as it is today.

8 “But now, for a brief moment, the LORD our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage. 9 Though we are slaves, our God has not deserted us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.

 10 “But now, O our God, what can we say after this? For we have disregarded the commands 11 you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: ‘The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of its peoples. By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other. 12 Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.’

 13 “What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins have deserved and have given us a remnant like this. 14 Shall we again break your commands and intermarry with the peoples who commit such detestable practices? Would you not be angry enough with us to destroy us, leaving us no remnant or survivor? 15 O LORD, God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence.”

In those verses, I hope that you saw Ezra’s realization of sin and how unworthy he is in approaching God. He said, ““O my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.” How many times have we felt ashamed and disgraced to lift up our face to God in prayer? For me, it is not as much as I should. More often than not, I rely to heavily on the grace and mercy of God without realizing how sinful I am and save through the sacrifice of Jesus I would not know God being unable to approach Him.

Read the passage of above and ask God to help you understand the depth of your sin and the blessing you have in having a relationship with Him if you have surrendered your life to Jesus as Savior and Lord.

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