Daniel 9.15-17 laments, Master, you are our God, for you delivered your people from the land of Egypt in a show of power—people are still talking about it! We confess that we have sinned, that we have lived bad lives….We know it’s our fault that this has happened, all because of our sins and our parents’ sins, and now we’re an embarrassment to everyone around us. We’re a blot on the neighborhood….Act out of Who You are, not out of what we are.
Daniel read God’s word so he could know God’s will, then he prayed for God’s people to be restored to God’s will as described in God’s word. Daniel understood from God’s word that God’s people were disobedient to God’s will which explained their current calamity.
Israel was suffering the humility of their disobedience to God. Daniel understood there was no going back to fix what went wrong but there was the possibility of going forward and doing what is right. The hope of God’s people, the appeal Daniel made for His will to be done among the people of God, was God’s character, particularly His love and compassion.
Daniel reminded God of His will and how He had faithfully worked out His ways among the people of God despite their constant disobedience. Appealing to His will because of His character, Daniel prayed for mercy. We would do well to do the same.
Our prayers should appeal to God’s character and His will and not our deeds. As a rule, we are rebellious and disobedient. We struggle to consistently and sacrificially love all people all the time. We do not live holy lives as God is holy. Yet we want, we need, we desire God’s pardon and His peace.
The Prince of Peace has come to restore us to God, not because we deserve it but because of Who He is, loving and faithful, full of compassion and generous in mercy. Our best prayers and most effective prayers are those aligned with God’s will that recognize our rebellion but appeal to His character.
Oh, that we would humble ourselves like Daniel, repent from our sin, seek His ways and appeal to His goodness. Then we would see God’s blessings and experience His presence among us making our joy full and our lives abundant.