Daniel Cries Out to God For Mercy

Years after the death of President Calvin Coolidge, this story came to light. In the early days of his presidency, Coolidge awoke one morning in his hotel room to find a burglar going through his pockets. He asked the burglar not to take his watch chain because it contained … More


The events of this chapter took place sixty nine years after Daniel had been carried captive to Babylon. This was after the fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians and in the first year of the reign of Darius. Even though Daniel was extremely busy he found time to study the Word of God and to pray each day at morning, noon and night. Daniel’s study of the Scriptures led him to turn to God and to pray. His prayer is given at considerable length (v. 3-19). Two grievous sins had been committed by the nation. First the people had disobeyed the law of God (v. 11). Then they had refused to listen to the prophets who were sent by God to warn them (v. 14). Daniel spoke about how God continually tried to bring Israel back to Himself. Yet even after disaster struck them they refused to obey Him. God still uses circumstances, other people and the Word to bring people back to Him.

Daniel’s prayer included both a positive and negative aspect of God’s greatness and the people’s sin.  He referred to how God had delivered Israel out of Egypt by His great power (v. 15). Then he prayed that God would again send mercy instead of judgment to Jerusalem (v. 16). Daniel not only confessed the sins of the people but he identified himself with their sin as though he were personally responsible for it (vv. 16-19). Daniel did not beg for mercy because he deserved it or the people deserved it but so that God, himself might be glorified, as the nations saw the great things He would do. God sends His help not because we deserve it, but because He wants to show great mercy. If God refused to help us because of our sin, how could we complain? But when He sends mercy when we deserve punishment, how can we withhold our praise and thanksgiving?


I can not expect God to answer my prayers because I deserve it. Like Daniel I must cry out for mercy. Then when he sends mercy I must be careful to give Him praise and thanksgiving.

Daniel 9:11-19 (English Standard Version)

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