READ: Ezra 7-9

THINK: Reread Ezra’s prayer on behalf of all the exiled Israelites in Ezra 9:10-15. Think about how you relate to this prayer. Have you ever felt similar remorse to what Ezra expresses here? Maybe you feel frustration with the injustices of your community or nation, or maybe you experience guilt on a deep level – not for anything in particular, but just a general sense of not getting it right, ever. What have you done with that feeling? Stuffed it? Allowed it to constantly criticize what you do and say? Have you ever thought of sharing it with God?

PRAY: Ezra’s raw confession of messing up before God indicates that he feels very secure in God’s merciful love; otherwise, being this defenseless before anyone is hard.

Read Ezra’s prayer one more time, looking for a word, a phrase, or even something about his tone that resonates with you. Take several minutes to mull to over, and listen for what it gives voice to in your heart. Allow yourself to make Ezra’s prayer your own, repeating it and following him in prayer to God. Or perhaps you don’t identify with what he says, yet beyond your words is a pain you want to share with God. Open up to him in this.

LIVE:  When you mess up today, remember Ezra and remember God’s merciful love.

– Adapted from Eugene Peterson in Solo

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