O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love…, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.Daniel 9:4-5
Daniel’s prayer starts not with what he wants from God, but rather with a declaration of the character of God. He then contrasts the faithfulness of God with the faithlessness of His people. And that leads to his confession.
Our prayers could follow this same pattern. Who of us isn’t consumed with the wants and needs of our daily lives? But when we dwell on the attributes of God first, we are driven to confession. The first week of this month’s devotions encouraged us to look at that character and voice our awe. This week we are seeing our sins thrown into stark contrast with the goodness, holiness, and faithfulness of God.
Our confession isn’t just that we’ve sinned; it’s also all the specific ways that we have. And while the Lord desires our confession of sin, He desires all the more our turning from it. Daniel says, “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy” (v. 18). That mercy is shown forth most excellently in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we pray in His name.
In Christ we have forgiveness. We do not have to fear the loss of God’s love; rather we please Him as we come in repentance.