“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary” – Daniel 9:17 (NIV).
Petitioning has become part of our common vocabulary these days in Uganda. There are petitions that have been made to the powers that be for new District creation. Sometimes petitions have caused embarrassment and forced removal from office certain characters.
Three common aspects are found in almost all petitions. First, there is often urgency about them. And then petitions to add weight bear signatures of those bidding for a favour. Finally petitions are always appealing to a higher power.
As believers petitioning is also one of the privileges of our lives. A petition is often begun when an apparent matter of concern that need urgent attention from a higher power. Daniel was once grieved with what had happened to Jerusalem and he petitioned to the Almighty. “So I turned to God and pleaded with Him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes” (Daniel 9:3). He then laid out a passionate prayer on behalf of the people. “Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your name” (Daniel 9:19).
Queen Esther after first petitioning God with much prayer and fasting walked in confidence to her King on behalf of her people. “Now, what is your petition? It will be given to you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted” (Esther 5:6). Her petition to King Xerxes yielded success.
Writing to Timothy the Apostle Paul reminded him, “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgiving, be made on behalf of men” (I Timothy 2:1). Faced with defeat the people pleaded with prophet Jeremiah, “Please, hear our petition and pray to the Lord our God for his entire remnant. For as you now see though we were once many, only a few are left. Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do” (Jeremiah 42:2-3).
Just as the people of the world habitually take petitions to authorities, and are never shy about them by appending their signatures, let us too never hesitate to do the same to the Almighty. We should petition to God whenever we are faced with an impending situation that threatens us and not let the enemy have his way. Like Daniel and Esther we should plead passionately that the tide turns in our favour. Whatever it is we should go to God assured most of all that He will answer our requests. “And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (I John 5:15).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of creation, heaven and earth, today I come to you with a petition deep from my heart, that you use your power that put in place the sun, moon and stars, to change my situation and destiny in my favour, for you are a God of the possible and wills what you want to pass, all I pray in the mighty name of Jesus!