Daniel 9:3-19

Daniel prays about the words that he has read

3 So I started to pray very much to the Lord God, and I ate no food. I put on rough clothes and I threw ashes over myself. I wanted to show how sad I felt.

9:3When we write Lord like this, it is a special name for God. Sometimes people write it as ‘Yahweh’, or as ‘Jehovah’. It is his own name that he told Moses. See Exodus 3:14. It means ‘I am who I am’. This shows that God has always been there and he always will be there.

4 I prayed to the Lord my God. And I said to him that we had done wrong things. I said, ‘Lord, you are the great God and we give honour to you. You keep your promises to those who obey your Laws. You always love those who love you. 5 We have been very bad. We have done wrong and evil things. We have not obeyed your rules. 6 We did not listen to the prophets who are your servants. They told your message to our kings, to our rulers, to our fathers and to all the people. 7 Lord, you always do what is right. We are people from Judah, from Jerusalem and from all Israel. We have done bad things and we are ashamed. We have not been faithful to you. So some of us are near here, but you have sent some of us to countries far away. 8 Lord, we are ashamed because we have not obeyed you. Our kings, their sons and our fathers are ashamed. 9 Lord our God, we have not been faithful to you, but you forgive us. 10 We have not obeyed you, the Lord our God. You sent your servants, the prophets with your message. They gave your rules to us. But we have not obeyed those Laws. 11 None of the people from Israel have obeyed your Laws. We have turned away from you. We have refused to obey you. We read the book that your servant Moses wrote. We read about your punishments, but we did not do anything about it. So now, you have punished us because we did not obey you. 12 You did what you promised to do to our rulers and to us. So you punished us. You punished Jerusalem more than anywhere else under heaven. 13 You have punished us as Moses wrote in his book. And still we have not tried to make you happy, the Lord our God. We do wrong things still and we do not obey your Laws. 14 So you remembered the punishments that you had told us about. Everything that you, the Lord God, do is right. And we did not obey you.’

15 ‘Lord our God,’ I said, ‘you brought your people out of the country called Egypt by your power. You caused many people to know your name. Many people know about you still. But we did more wrong things and we have been very bad. 16 Lord, you have always done what is right. Please stop being angry with the people from Jerusalem. It is your special city. All the people that live round us laugh about Jerusalem in a bad way. And they laugh about your people. That is happening because our fathers were so bad. And we have been evil too. 17 So now, our God, I am praying to you. Please listen to me because I am your servant. Listen to me while I pray! So then people will know that you are God. Lord, be kind to your empty house. 18 Listen to us, Lord. Look at the city that belongs to you. Nobody lives there now. We do not pray for things because we are good. We pray to you because you are kind. 19 Lord, listen. Lord, forgive us. Lord, listen because the city and your people are yours. Do something quickly. Then people will know that you are God.’