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
Daniel 9 gives us a glimpse of Daniel pleading with God to bring about the promised return of the Israelites to their homeland. The Israelites had been taken captive by the Babylonians nearly 70 years before. Daniel knew from the study of Scripture that this time of captivity was drawing to an end. He knew of the prophecy spoken by Jeremiah that God would deliver his people from captivity at the end of a 70 year period. This whole country (Israel) will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years – Jeremiah 25:11.
Daniel gives us a beautiful picture of prayer. In Daniel 9:4-19, we see Daniel praying completely surrendered to his LORD. He prayed with complete openness asking for forgiveness of his sins, as well as the sins of the people. The captives from Judah had rebelled against God and because of their rebellion they were given over to captivity. Daniel 9:4-6 – I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. When we plead with our LORD for forgiveness of our sins, our God is merciful. When we confess our sin and return to God and His ways, He is merciful and forgiving. God desired for His people, the Israelites to return to Him. When we stray from our Savior and LORD, He desires for our return to Him and His righteous ways.
God had sent many prophets to speak to His people through the years but they chose to ignore their message and continued to live in disobedience. Many today are choosing to ignore God’s message. God speaks to us clearly and accurately through His Holy Word. We must take the time to listen to God’s message before our disobedience leads us into captivity.
It is very clear as we read Daniel’s prayer that he was greatly concerned for his nation and his people. Daniel begged for mercy from Almighty God. You and I must take our prayers about our nation and the people of our nation to the throne of God. Our nation has turned away from God. We must pray for mercy and pray that we become a nation that looks to Almighty God for salvation. Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of our servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 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 – Daniel 9:17-18
Dear Heavenly Father, we approach Your throne of grace asking for mercy upon our nation. We have turned from You, LORD. Forgive us of the many sins we have committed. I pray that we will look to You for salvation and leadership. In Jesus Name I Pray…..Amen.