Welcome to the daily prayer guide for the month of September! Today is Thursday, Sept. 22. It also happens to be my mother’s birthday, so, Happy Birthday, Mom!
Let’s try something a little different. Below you will find a prayer from Daniel. It was prayed in a particular place and time, of course, but as you move through it, think how these words might inspire you to pray about modern circumstances. Within the prayer, you will find praise, confession and intercession, all in line with how we have been praying during our morning time.
I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:
Ah, Lord—the great and awe-inspiring God who keeps His gracious covenant with those who love Him and keep His commands— we have sinned, done wrong, acted wickedly, rebelled, and turned away from Your commands and ordinances. We have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, leaders, fathers, and all the people of the land.
Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but this day public shame belongs to us: the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, and all Israel—those who are near and those who are far, in all the countries where You have dispersed them because of the disloyalty they have shown toward You. Lord, public shame belongs to us, our kings, our leaders, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. Compassion and forgiveness belong to the Lord our God, though we have rebelled against Him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following His instructions that He set before us through His servants the prophets.
All Israel has broken Your law and turned away, refusing to obey You. The promised curse written in the law of Moses, the servant of God, has been poured out on us because we have sinned against Him. He has carried out His words that He spoke against us and against our rulers by bringing on us so great a disaster that nothing like what has been done to Jerusalem has ever been done under all of heaven. Just as it is written in the law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not appeased the Lord our God by turning from our iniquities and paying attention to Your truth. So the Lord kept the disaster in mind and brought it on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in all He has done. But we have not obeyed Him.
Now, Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and made Your name renowned as it is this day, we have sinned, we have acted wickedly. Lord, in keeping with all Your righteous acts, may Your anger and wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become an object of ridicule to all those around us.
Therefore, our God, hear the prayer and the petitions of Your servant. Show Your favor to Your desolate sanctuary for the Lord’s sake. 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. 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.
Remember to intercede on behalf of others and yourself throughout the day, and give yourself a few minutes of silence before resuming your day.
As our noon prayer, I offer you another one from Hildegard of Bingen:
Praise be to you, Holy Trinity, for you are sound and life. The choirs of angels praise you. Wonderful, mysterious radiance, hidden from humankind, you are life in everything.
We continue with meditative prayer. Again, it may be useful to write down or record in some way the impressions you receive.
Here’s a prayer you can speak out loud, too:
“Lord, may your grace, protection and restoration be with me and my family through the night, and may the sunrise promise us a holy day, one where our actions reflect your love. Amen.”