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Does it matter if I confess the sins of my people?

“…let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.” Nehemiah 1:6

            People’s sins are not forgiven because someone else asked for their forgiveness but in this case, when confessing the sins of “the people,” Nehemiah presented the needs of a nation and acted as a representative of them.  Nehemiah would step into a role as an advocate for the people, called by God, so, like Moses and others, Nehemiah could speak for others and ask for the nation’s forgiveness.  However, individually each person would need to stand before God and ask for their own personal forgiveness.