15 “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts,turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill.Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.
17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 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. 19 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.”
My dear friend Leslie M. reminded me of “Daniel’s Prayer” this morning. The entire prayer is recorded within Daniel 9:1-19. However, verses 15-19 spoke volumes to me this morning, and it is always worth sharing! I strongly encourage you to read this entire passage beginning with verse 1.
What do I see and hear when I read this passage? Prayer and Petition!
Even more, I see a man demonstrating intimate conversation with “the great and awesome God” (v4). This type of intimate dialogue does not happen overnight. This reminds me of my relationship with my closest friends. Did we start out in complete openness, unity, likemindedness, and most importantly trust? Absolutely not! This type of relationship requires time, communication, detail, active listening, faith, love, and trust. Does this sound familiar? As humans, we can easily ascribe these characteristics to our earthly relationships, and we truly understand these steps. Yet, many of us fail to apply the same interpersonal communication rules and regulations to our relationship with God Almighty.
We go about our day with very little interaction with the One who created us in His image! Yet, when disaster strikes, we hit our knees expecting, at the very least, an answer from the One whom we have ignored. Does He still listen? Emphatically YES because He is omniscient; He knows absolutely everything before we even speak it. I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating – nothing surprises the Creator of Heaven’s Armies.
It is not for me to say or analyze how God answers prayers. I know His ways are higher and greater than ours. What I do know is that we should work daily on building a stronger relationship with Him so that our communication: worship, prayers, and petition align with His will. Speaking from experience, there is nothing in this life more satisfying than tasting God’s richness through intimate communication.
In this passage, Daniel lowers himself by confessing the sins he and Israel have committed. He praises God for His grace and mercy, and he petitions God to restore His people and land in order that God will be gloried – don’t miss this! Do your prayers revolve around glorying God or you? The beauty in this entire passage is that God did answer Daniel’s prayer because it aligned with His will. Praise to the One who knows and controls all things.
Question: What is your prayer life like (me-centered or God-centered)?