What is the proper attitude when we approach God in prayer with petitions? At times it is difficult to discern if our requests are simply our own desires or if they reflect God’s desires. If we pursue a heart for God, our petitions to God should also be a desire for God’s will in our life and the lives of those around us.

Yet when I see people I love and care about scoff at you dear Lord, my heart aches. They discredit your name and worship the false gods of our age. I pray for a transformation of their heart, but nothing happens. I pray they will embrace a life for Christ, yet they continue in their ways. At times it seems God that you do not care that they profane your name.

In Daniel 9, I find that Daniel shares this feeling. He wants the destroyed temple in Jerusalem to be restored if only to bring glory to you God. He prayed, “Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name (verse 18, NIV).” In the same verse he then prayed, “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”

Help me dear God to reflect on the motivation of my prayers. I truly am not righteous. It is only because of your mercy dear God that I have been saved. Help me not to pray for a quick fix for the people I love and care about, but help me to pray for your mercy dear God. Help me to pray that they will experience your mercy; understand your grace; acknowledge they are not righteous, but only saved by your grace dear God.

“Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” Daniel 9:19 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen