Daniel 9:7-8 - “Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day–to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. “Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.
Daniel here he could had a laundry list with a bunch of complaint about God from Israel because God was too hard on them. The thing is, that was not how Daniel did things because Daniel knew that God was not too hard on Israel as Israel though He was. Daniel knew God was completely righteous and any failure was on Israel’s side. The same is true for us – any failures we have – gossiping, lying, angry outburst, poor attitude, disobedience, rebellion, ect. – are not God’s fault and not the way God made us but they are sin and they need to be confessed and not complained about.
What we see here with Daniel is that he is not complaining, Daniel is confessing. I read the following while studying: During times of great revival among God’s people, the Holy Spirit always brings a deep conviction and awareness of sin. When that is responded to rightly, confession is appropriately made. J. Edwin Orr gives a good principle to govern confession: “If you sin secretly, confess secretly, admitting publicly that you need the victory but keeping details to yourself. If you sin openly confess openly to remove stumbling blocks from those whom you have hindered. If you have sinned spiritually such as prayerlessness, lovelessness, or unbelief as well as their offspring, criticism, etc. then confess to the church that you have been a hindrance.”
It continues: Genuine, appropriate confession will be sincere, specific, and thorough. Orr describes how in the 1952 revival in Brazil a woman in a crowded church confessed, “Please pray for me, I need to love people more.” The leader told her gently, “That is not a confession, sister. Anyone could have said it.” Later in the service the lady stood again and said, “Please pray for me. What I should have said is that my sharp tongue has caused a lot of trouble in this congregation.” The pastor leaned over to Orr and whispered “Now she is talking!”
What we have here in confession is humility in prayer and a key to an effective prayer life.
Do you have some secret confessions to make today? How about public confessions? What about spiritual confessions? Do you have any thoughts on this?