We can see how effective the prayers of a righteous person are through the Old Testament prophet Daniel. His prayers provide a model for us to follow. Read his powerful plea to God in Daniel 9:4-19. Now let's take a look at the key components of his prayer.
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, but also merciful and forgiving. Begin your own prayers with praise and thanksgiving to God.
When we pray, we are investing in an intimate, personal relationship with God.
Praise Him for His glory, His power, and His love. Thank Him for your salvation, your many blessings and glorious promises, and His daily provision in your life. Spend time just adoring God. We must remember that prayer is not just a means of getting what we ask for—it is fellowship with God. When we pray, we are investing in an intimate, personal relationship with Him.
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 or wrongdoing—intentional or unintentional—related to the situation or circumstance. When God reveals sin in our hearts, His ultimate desire is to reconcile us to the fullness of a right relationship with Him.
Prayer: God, I want to praise You today for Your love and for the gift of salvation. Thank You for giving us Your Word to provide examples like Daniel for us to follow. Forgive my sins, my Redeemer. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!" (Psalm 18:46).