We just finished an examination of Daniel 9 last night, and in Daniel’s prayer in that chapter there were a number of things that stood out to me. I find it to be true that many Christians pray to God with timidity. We are afraid to say the wrong thing or to make a request in the wrong way. We act as though we are afraid that if the prayer does not have the proper affectations it will be thrown out by God without consideration.
Consider what Daniel did: he quoted Scripture to God (Vs. 11-13), he spoke of his expectations for God (Vs. 17-19), he spoke with boldness and humility, he was respectful yet firm in his conviction that God must keep his promises. An examination of the myriad prayers of the Old and New Testaments brings many similar examples.
Yet, there are many today who are more worried about the technical aspects of prayer than anything else. “Do not quote Scripture to God, he already knows it,” they say. “Do not remind God of his promises, he remembers them,” they argue. “Do not tell God what you expect him to do, you are not in charge,” they cry. While these statements are true from the standpoint of God’s knowledge, place, and control; yet, it is also true that God’s servants have done exactly these things in Scripture and never been rebuked or punished for them. They were respectful, humble, and having knowledge of their place and purpose they did not order God around, but they did state their expectation of God keeping his promises and their desire for that to take place.
You see, as the children of God we are not to come before him as timid, scared children. Instead, we are to come before him with boldness. For it is written, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). We must stop being scared of saying the wrong thing and with humility and respect come boldly before God with the things that are on our hearts; with our needs, troubles, cares, and concerns; but also with what we need from God and what he has promised to provide. There is a vast difference between being bold (literally from the Greek “unreserved in speech”) and being arrogant, petulant, and bratty. Let us not pray scared, but boldly and confidently before the God who loves us and shows mercy toward us every day.