Updated: Feb 1
A few days ago, it was Australia Day, a day to celebration my nation, and it seemed like an apt moment to share something God laid on my heart last year: the way I pray for my country.
You would be hard pressed to find a godlier example than Daniel in the Bible. Gabriel called him 'greatly beloved' (9:23). His enemies couldn't even find fault with him (6:4). They had to create a law just to get him to supposedly 'slip up.' What was this made-up law? They ordered Daniel to choose between God and his life. Daniel didn't even hesitate. He chose God, openly.
Daniel was ruler over the province of Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar. He was third in command under Belshazzar, and even when the Medes and Persians overthrew that kingdom, Daniel was made head over the princes in the new order. Yeah, he was so good even the invading army wanted him in power!
But this is one of Daniel's prayers.
"And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession... We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces" Daniel 9:4-7a
Why did godly Daniel use the possessive words: we, my, us?
This man with an impeccable track record said, 'And whiles I was... confessing my sin". (v.20) He lumped himself with all the others who slew the prophets and refused to heed God's warnings. 'Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.' (v.10)
Daniel's prayer convicted me. I distance myself from my country. I pray for 'the government' not 'my government'. I pray for 'this nation' not 'our nation'.
I put myself over in a little corner far away from all their sins.
Daniel didn't do that. He admitted that the sins of the nation were also his fault, his sins.
In this second picture, there would be no way to know which hand is me. That's how I need to view myself--as one of them. I'm not separate or better. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). It's time I take personal responsibility for what we've done wrong as a nation.
It's time I put myself in the middle of my country and own to my sins of our nation.
Images created in Canva using photos from Canva.