Daniel is well-known for his unwavering faith and trust in the God of Israel. If anyone had a reason to be confident of his own standing before God, it would’ve been Daniel. But that’s certainly not what we see in Daniel 9. We get a glimpse into the prayer life of a hero of the faith—but what we find is a humble prayer marked by confession rather than confidence:
For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. (Daniel 9:18-19)
What a gift of grace! The Lord hears the prayers and pleas of his people not because of our great merits but because of his great mercy. Has your own sin made you reluctant to pray? Do you withhold your requests because it feels like a wall of guilt and shame are separating you from your Heavenly Father?
Make no mistake—your sin and rebellion break God’s heart and separate you from him. Like the Israelites who repeatedly rebelled against God, we deserve only the worst. But, in Christ, we have been offered the very best. The sinless Son of God bore the full weight of your sin; he was temporarily forsaken by his Heavenly Father so that you might one day pray, “Our Father in heaven…” In Christ, God has already moved toward you. Therefore, you can move toward him by confessing, repenting, and requesting, knowing that the Lord will hear, forgive, pay attention and act.