Daniel’s Prayer

O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

Daniel 9:18

In this verse, Daniel offers a touching prayer for his people.  It is a good pattern for us to use as we pray not only for ourselves, but for our communities and our countries.  Anytime we pray and make a petition to God, we are following the first part of the verse: “…incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations…”  We want God to hear us and we want Him to see and know whatever problem it is that we may have.  But the second half of the verse is really the attitude we should bring to our prayers:

“…for we do not present our supplications before thee for our own righteousenesses, but for thy great mercies.”  It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that God “owes us something.”  We try to do right and live for Him, and somewhere in the back of our minds, we start thinking that God will answer our prayers because of all that we do for Him.  But He does not answer prayers because of our righteousness.  In fact, the Bible says that our righteousnesses are “as filthy rags.”  He answers prayers (especially prayers on behalf of communities, nations, etc.) because of His great mercies.

We have sinned against God, both individually and collectively.  When we pray for forgiveness, we are throwing ourselves on the mercies of God.  Fortunately, we have the promise of Isaiah 54:8:

“In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.”  We can look around us and see sin across our land.  We need to pray for mercy!

4 responses to this post.

  1. I love that . . .but for thy great mercies. It reminds me of in Joshua, when he prayed for His name’s sake. God bless you as you seek His mercy today!

    Reply

  2. I needed this reminder today. Thank you!

    Reply

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