Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. Daniel 9:3-8
After Daniel realizes that the time of the exile is nearing the first thing he does is pray. He does not mention what he wants but starts with a confession of both his sins and those of God’s people. This got me to thinking about how I pray and I come up short.
It is not that I pray for myself all that much but do find that I tend to go through my laundry list of requests, please help this friend or that acquaintance. I know that person needs healing and help those people that suffered that disaster. And Yes, I do tend to ask for things for me. What I rarely do is make any admission as to how unworthy I am to ask for anything from God.
Here we have Daniel who has lived a life so in service to God that is makes my efforts seem puny and the first thing he does is admit what a sinner he is. Throughout his life he has remained a faithful servant to God. He has faced lions and the wrath of those around him and never wavered. Yet still he starts this prayer with an admission of sin.
How much better would my prayer life be if I too admitted my unworthiness? Not in an I need to get this out of the way first before I submit my wish list but in a humble and yes sorry full way. Not a rote rendition that I repeat every time but an admission of my continued sinfulness and a thankful heart that I have been redeemed from that sinful state even as God continues to work on my life.
I know I have a lot of work to do on my prayer life. How is your going? See any room for improvement? You are not alone.
Have a blessed day,