Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.Daniel 9:18 NIV
Prayer is an amazing privilege that God has given to his people. The God of creation and sovereign Lord over the entire universe has chosen to give us the right to come before him. To talk with him, to make requests of him, and to seek his direction for life. But what am I, that he should give me this privilege? I am reminded of Psalm 8:3-4 when I consider the magnitude of the creation, what am I that God would care about me, or would listen to my prayer.
Yet over and over in the Scriptures, we are encouraged to come before the throne of God with our prayer. But why does God give us this privilege? Is it because we are righteous or worthy of his attention? No, nothing could be further from the truth. As Daniel says in this passage, it is not because of who I am, but because of who God is.
It is because of God’s great mercy that he hears us when we pray. He knows that we are weak, unworthy, and helpless to face all that comes our way. But God is merciful to us and responds to our prayers.
Prayer is not a magic incantation that we can invoke to force or entice God to act on our behalf. Rather, prayer is communicating our hearts to one who cares deeply about us. One who delights in responding and showing mercy to his loved ones. It is because of his great mercy toward us that we can come before him in prayer.