“The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving,
even though we have rebelled against him…”
Daniel 9:9 (NIV)
As a boy I spent time on my grandmother’s farm. I learned how to work hard and to be resourceful. We had a forge to repair broken equipment so did not need a blacksmith to help us. Our farm equipment was old but took us from springtime using a seed drill to a thrashing machine to use in the late summer to separate the grain from the straw. We had a tedder, a hay fork, a side delivery rake, a threshing machine, and so on. We grew all the vegetables needed for a year, canned all the fruit and meat required for the next 12 months and so on. It was a self-sufficient lifestyle.
Yet, something was lacking. So, we got dressed every Sunday morning in clean clothes and walked down the lane to the front road where a church building stood on the corner of our property. We were there because we needed God’s blessing on our work or else we might experience catastrophic crop failure.
It is a very important matter Daniel introduces into his prayer as we see in today’s verse. Daniel refers to the character of God, characteristics especially needed at that particular time. He said,
“The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving…”
The nation was in dire need of the Lord’s forgiveness, so the prophet raises the matter in the prayer.
Have you considered this excellent strategy as you petition the Lord in prayer? If you are suffering you have special need for the Lord to be merciful. Mercy refers to God dealing with our misery. Mercy is God acting to comfort us, to sooth us, to be compassionate.
Our great God is moved by the sight of our suffering and longs for us to come to Him and pour out our complaint. Never forget the beautiful words in Isaiah 30:18 (NIV);
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!”
“Thou art coming to a King, large petitions with thee bring,
for His grace and power are such none can ever ask too much.”
– John Newton