As we study the prayers of the Old Testament prophet Daniel, we can learn how a righteous man prayed and follow his example. Read Daniel 9:4-19.
Start with praise. Daniel began his prayer by praising God. His focus was not on himself, but on God's greatness. He prayed to "the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments" (Daniel 9:4). He acknowledged God as absolutely righteous and also merciful and forgiving. Begin your own prayers with praise and thanksgiving to God. Praise Him for His glory, power, and love. Thank Him for His daily provision in your life—your salvation and blessings. Spend time just adoring God.
Daniel's focus was not on himself, but on God's greatness.
Confess your sins. Daniel confessed that Israel had sinned. He didn't try to dismiss, justify, or sidestep the fact that Israel had made a grave error. He didn't make excuses to God, but took responsibility. Daniel stated up front in his prayer, "[W]e have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws" (Daniel 9:5). When you go to God in prayer, don't play the blame game when it comes to your sin. Acknowledge any element of sin—whether intentional or unintentional—related to the situation or circumstance.
Prayer: Great and awesome God, I praise You for Your glory, power, and love. Thank You for providing for all of my needs and for the many ways you bless me. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Forgive me for the things I have done that hurt You. Forgive me for not praying the way that I should. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion" (Psalm 103:2-4).