Daniel 9 is best know for the prophetic picture it paints. But one of the most amazing, convicting aspects of the chapter is Daniel’s prayer.
In response to the study of God’s Word as revealed through Jeremiah (verse 2), Daniel begins to entreat God to do what He said He would do. He acknowledges the sin of his people–specifically identifying that that they sinned against God by not obeying the law or listening to the prophets. Without making excuses or complaining he confesses and acknowledges God’s right to judge.
After the confession he turns to his request.
The tone of the request is urgent, bold, direct and passionate. Probably more urgent, bold, direct and passionate than I have ever prayed. But the boldness is not so much about the circumstance but God’s reputation. He calls on God to fulfill His Word and restore His people to His city for His own names sake.
Daniel’s main concern was God’s own reputation.
That ought to be the focus of all our prayers. Whether we are praying for someone’s healing, protection, strength through a difficult situation–whatever, the focus ought to be–God’s own reputation. How can God receive more glory, be more highly esteemed through the situation?
So, may the prayers we prayer be first and foremost entreating God to make Himself look good. That His name and His reputation be exalted.
You can read the passage below (you might what to read the whole chapter).
17 Now therefore, O our God,
listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy,
and for your own sake, O Lord,
make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate.
18 O my God,
incline your ear and hear.
Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called
by your name.
For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness,
but because of your great mercy.
19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not,
for your own sake,
O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.” (ESV)