“For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy” (9:18). The “70 years” of exile prophesied by Jeremiah had been completed (9:2), and Daniel pleaded with God to allow the Jews to return to Jerusalem (9:16). Daniel didn’t pray on the basis of his own good behavior, or Israel’s, but because “to the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness” (9:9). Instead of negotiating with God, Daniel counted on God’s proven character.
“O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act” (9:19). God hears our prayers not because we earn His attention, but because He is full of mercy and steadfast love (9:4).