“We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.” Daniel 9:18
(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – Daniel 9-10 & Psalm 123 & Luke 5)
We will never get to the level with God where we can suggest that because of how we’ve lived God owes us. Only a fool would ever head in that direction! We’re ongoing sinners and if we don’t realize it then we’ve immunized our thinking from reality.
Any prayer needs to start with our owning up to our sinfulness. We can’t stay clean. Forget the outward sins, how about thoughts and attitudes? God knows about them and whether they are sinful. Often times they are.
Therefore, we must appeal to God’s mercy. We don’t want to have His mercies for us to be based on our performance. We’d get nothing from Him and deserve exactly that.
Speaking of judgment, how blessed we are to have Jesus as our advocate. How comforting to know that for believers Judgment Day is no worry. When we appear before God we want His justice. Why? Because Jesus took the punishment we deserve for our sins. Our appeal, through Jesus, is that our heaven-separating sins were taken care of when Jesus died for them. A just God will not punish us for sins that His Son took care of.
Let us approach Him as Daniel did.
“Lord, You mercy is begged for. My unrighteousness prevents me from deserving anything from You. Help me to be clean before You. Alert me to my need to never let You out of my heart for any diversion that comes along. Holy Spirit, take over every part of me. Break down the doors that are closed to You. Toss out the sludge. Fill me with You, I plead.”