Read Daniel 9:3-19. On what basis does Daniel make his plea for mercy?
We should especially note a few points in this prayer.
First, nowhere in Daniel’s prayer is he asking for any kind of explanation for the calamities that happened to the Jewish people. He knows the reason. Indeed, the bulk of the prayer consists of Daniel himself recounting the reason: “We have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets” (Dan. 9:10, NKJV). The last time we left Daniel having a need to understand something was at the end of Daniel chapter 8, when he says he does not understand the vision of the 2,300 evenings and mornings (see Dan. 8:27).
The second point is that this prayer is an appeal to God’s grace, to God’s willingness to forgive His people even though they have sinned and done evil. In one sense, we see here a powerful illustration of the gospel, of sinful people who have no merit of their own, nevertheless seeking grace that they don’t deserve and for forgiveness that they haven’t earned. Is this not an example of where each one of us is, individually, before God?
Read Daniel 9:18-19. What other reason does Daniel give for the Lord to answer his prayer?
Another aspect of Daniel’s prayer deserves mention: the appeal to the honor of God’s name. That is, the prayer is not motivated by Daniel’s personal convenience or that of his people, but for God’s own sake (Dan. 9:17-19). In other words, the petition must be granted because God’s name will be honored.
|Read 2 Kings 19:15-19. In what ways does Hezekiah’s prayer resemble Daniel’s? What does Matthew 5:16 say about how we, too, can glorify God?|