I really loved the way Daniel prayed in today’s reading. He was so humble. Jerusalem has been pillaged, her people taken away. Daniel confesses the sins of Israel, then prays:
Give ear, our 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. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” Daniel 9:19-20
Daniel is asking for God’s eyes, His ear, His mercy, His work – not at all on the basis of Israel’s goodness – but in spite of her sin.
Daniel asks God to restore Israel out of God’s mercy – but also for God’s name. Daniel pleads ultimately in the name of God’s glory, that God’s reputation would not be tarnished because his name-bearers are in trouble.
So, when I take my requests before God, I trust that He will act out of mercy, not on the basis of my works, whether good or bad.
But I know, too, that I must pass my prayers through the litmus test of this: Am I asking for that which will reveal God’s glory, not hurt God’s name? Does concern for God’s reputation guide my prayer priorities?
I’ll try and remember that!
Today’s Readings: Daniel 9:1 – 11:1, Psalm 137:7-9, Proverbs 29:15, 1 John 1:1-10. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).