“O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us. 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. 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. 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.”
The heartfelt plea that Daniel has been working up to is now boldly articulated. There is no other remedy or way ahead for him, and the people of Judah, except for the intervention of God himself. It is God who, in his perfect righteousness, sent the people into exile by means of the power of the Babylonian empire and they are now dependant on his mercy to restore them again to their own land, Jerusalem and the albeit desolated Temple.
Daniel prays out of God’s promises and in confidence that God alone is God and his prayer is thus powerful for he prays the sovereignty of God
‘Listen to the prayer of your servant and his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face shine..’
We are very familiar with the phrase with which we end our prayers, often I suggest as a formula without giving real thought to the power of what we are asking, ‘for Jesus’ sake. Amen’. It is effectively the same prayer that Daniel prays here for God, Jesus and the Spirit are one and the ultimate truth about the Godhead, Father, Son and Spirit is that all they do is for their glory.
There are other powerful elements in Daniel’s plea which we will consider tomorrow but as we pray let us reflect on what we ask. That things are done ‘for Jesus’ sake’ and therefore be sure that what we ask is in tune with the glory of GOD.