Prayer of Repentance (Dan. 9:1-19)

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, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. 6 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. (Daniel 9:4-6)

And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 “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. 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.” (Dan. 9:15-19)


Learn it:

In Daniel’s prayer in chapter nine it was a wonderful example of how we should pray. He starts of in verse four by worshiping God. He lists out some of God’s qualities of how he is great, awesome, keeps his covenant, and is steadfast in love. These are some beautiful things about who our God is! Can I get an amen? After this he spends that next ten verses confessing his sin and the sins of Israel. He confesses how they did not follow God’s commands; they ignored His prophets and there was no excuse for what they had done. They deserve the punishment they are experiencing right now. In the midst of the confession he points out that his only hope is in God’s mercy.

He closes out his prayer with a plea for mercy to God in verses 15-19. He asks God for mercy, not because they have earned it but because God is merciful. It is in God’s nature to love His people and that is what Daniel is asking God to remember. He wants God to hear their cries just like he heard the cries when his people were in slavery in Egypt. He begs for another exodus that they might return to the promised land and worship God again.


Live it:


Do you struggle to set aside time to pray? Why? One thing that can happen is we feel it become repetitive or we do not know what to pray so we get bored. Scripture gives us help on how to pray. In this passage we have a beautiful example of how to ask for God’s forgiveness. I encourage you to take time and pray through this and make it personal. Confess how you have disobeyed God and ask for his forgiveness and guidance. He will meet you where you are. Another awesome prayer of repentance you can pray is Psalm 51. Meditate on this passages and seek God who is merciful and wants to help you.

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