“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary.Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”
Some of the most passionate prayers are prayers of repentance. This is certainly true of Daniel’s prayer in chapter 9. Daniel is repenting for himself and his people. He is pleading with God to restore the city of Jerusalem and God’s people Israel.
It was not some other force that devastated God’s chosen people, but God Himself. He used the Babylonians to accomplish this, but it was God who sent Israel into exile away from their Promised Land. Jerusalem was conquered and the temple was leveled. God did this because of the people’s sin. They left relationship with God and chased after idols. Daniel’s prayer reflects this. It is a passionate prayer of repentance.
In every prayer like this there needs to be this acknowledgement: “We do not make requests of You because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy” (vs. 18b). This is a fundamental posture for everyone who would seek God. Because of His holiness and our sinfulness, humility and an appeal to His great mercy is necessary. Without these, no one could ever approach God.
This posture before God never ends. For the person who is walking closely with God in obedience, humility and a desperate dependence on God is needed. Those who do pursue God and are in relationship with Him understand even more that it’s only because of His grace. What I mean is that those who are walking closest to God are the most humble and usually the quickest to repent! They are sure to say that it’s only by God’s great mercy that they can walk with Him. Prayers of repentance become more frequent, not less, as we walk in relationship with the Living God.
Holy Father, You are good and righteous and holy! I am not. I yield to You today and thank You for Jesus. Thank You that His righteousness has been gifted to me. I praise Your Name and Your plan that allows You to see Jesus when You look at me. This is awesome grace!