In today's first reading, Daniel 3: 25, 34-43, Azariah stands up in the fire, into which he and two others were thrown because they refused to obey the king's order that would have violated their beliefs, and prays: "For your name's sake, O Lord, do not deliver us up forever, or make void your covenant. Do not take away your mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham, your beloved, Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one, to whom you promised to multiply their offspring like the stars of heaven, or the sand on the shore of the sea. For we reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation, brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins....[W]ith contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received....[L]et our sacrifice be in your presence today, as we follow you unreservedly; for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame....Deliver us by your wonders, and bring glory to your name, O Lord."
This prayer as applicable to our nation today, as it was to the nation of Israel. As of old, God looks with mercy and love upon us. With Azariah, we pray: "With contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received. Let our sacrifices to do what is right be in your presence, as we follow you unreservedly; for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame. Deliver us by you wonders from sinking into deceitful ways and corrupt decisions that increase hardships for others around us and beyond us. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen."