Before reading this post, please check out Ezra 9:6-15. If you’ve got the time, I encourage you to read the whole book of Ezra, it’s only 10 chapters and full of good stuff!
Ezra’s prayer was a plea to the Lord on behalf of the people. They recognized their guilt and the gravity of their sin. They knew the Lord had provided for them out of His unfailing love, but also knew that He is just, and their actions could not go without restitution under the Law and covenant.
They confessed their sin, but things didn’t end there. I’ve often heard repentance described as a 180 turn-around. Makes sense, since sin moves us away from God, and we want to be moving towards Him. After the people confessed, they began making things right (as you can read about in chapter 10). They were convicted by their guilt, genuine in confession, and whole-hearted in repentance. They knew God could restore them as His holy people.
We aren’t under the same Mosaic law as the Israelites had been, but I know I still find myself walking in sin, needing to make a 180 turn back to God and the path He has called me to walk. When my heart truly surrenders and repents, I find myself walking towards the Creator and Restorer.