Daniel 9:18-19 18 Listen, my God, and hear. Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city called by Your name. For we are not presenting our petitions before You based on our righteous acts, but based on Your abundant compassion. 19 Lord, hear! Lord, forgive! Lord, listen and act! My God, for Your own sake, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.
This prayer in Daniel chapter 9 cut straight to my heart today. If you would go back and read it, starting with verse 1, you will see the power of it. Daniel is coming before the Lord and confessing both his sin and the sin of Israel. He recognizes that if he is going to see God move in his land, he must get right with God. And amidst his confessions and petitions, a statement of New Testament proportions comes from his mouth: “For we are not presenting our petitions before You based on our righteous acts, but based on Your abundant compassion.”
Oh, how thankful I am for the Lord’s abundant compassion! He sent His Son, Jesus to die for my sins so that I could be saved. It is on the basis of His mercy and grace that I find life, not based on my righteous acts. It’s a good thing, too. Because I don’t always feel like I have many righteous acts to present to Him. But He is the one who makes me righteous. It was because of His sacrifice that I can stand before Him and be right with Him. Have you ever been eating out and when you ask for the check, the waiter says, “it’s covered?” It’s happened to me and I wonder what saint has paid for my meal. Guess what? Your life is covered. Jesus has paid for your life! He has covered you with grace and mercy and brings you into relationship with God.
And that mercy has been a part of His character for eternity. Long before Jesus walked this earth, Daniel recognized the compassion of the Lord. He recognized that although God had given them a bunch of rules to live by, he couldn’t possibly get it right. He realized that his own righteousness would never save him. So he cried out confessing his sin and asked the Lord to move in his land. He called out to God, “these are your people – they are called by your name!” You have been called by His name too, if you have received Jesus as Lord of your life. So stop trying to be your own savior and lean into his mercy today. When you begin to live covered in His righteousness, it will change everything.