There is a parody on self-centered prayer that goes something like this: "God bless me, my wife, our son John, his wife, us four, no more, amen." Perhaps more than any other mortal man, Daniel manifested the antithesis of this attitude. All through his meteoric rise from humble Judean captive to prime minister in the world's most powerful kingdom, he kept his focus on God, and off himself.
By the first year of Darius' reign, Daniel was no doubt an elderly man, and still carrying what must have been a significant workload as second-in-command to the king (Dan. 6:1-2). Despite all this, he set himself to fast and pray; not for a sharp assistant or a cushy retirement, but for his people, the Jews, for whom God had laid a burden on his heart. No one was making Daniel humble himself, mourn, and confess the sins of his people as though they were his own. He did it because he loved God, and wanted to see Him glorified in the earth by the restoration of His people to their land and their holy city. God's response through the angel Gabriel made it clear that He was pleased with Daniel's devotion (Dan. 9:23), and He allowed Daniel to live long enough to see his prayers answered (Dan. 6:28, Ezra 6:3).
A common misconception about prayer is that it is how we get what we want from God. Rather, prayer is how God gets what He wants from us: faith, without which it is impossible to please Him, and through which His purposes can be accomplished in us, and in our needy world (Heb. 11:6, Heb. 11:33-34).
All Scripture references from KJV. Commentary ©2013 Hitchcock Family Ministry. Unaltered text may be reproduced freely without financial gain. Original commentary and Scripture song available at http://www.freescripturesongs.org/o-Lord-hear-o-Lord-forgive.