Talmud, Brachot 7a:
R. Johanan says in the name of R. Jose: How do we know that the Holy One, blessed be God, says prayers? Because it says [Isaiah 56:7]: “Even them will I bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer.” It is not said, “their prayer”, but “My prayer”*; hence [you learn] that the Holy One, blessed be God, says prayers. What does God pray? â€” R. Zutra b. Tobi said in the name of Rab: ‘May it be My will that My mercy may suppress My anger, and that My mercy may prevail over My [other] attributes, so that I may deal with My children in the attribute of mercy and, on their behalf, stop short of the limit of strict justice’. It was taught: R. Ishmael b. Elisha says: I once entered into the innermost part [of the Sanctuary] to offer incense and saw… the Lord of Hosts, seated upon a high and exalted throne. God said to me: Ishmael, My son, bless Me! I replied: May it be Thy will that Thy mercy may suppress Thy anger and Thy mercy may prevail over Thy other attributes, so that Thou mayest deal with Thy children according to the attribute of mercy and mayest, on their behalf, stop short of the limit of strict justice! And God nodded to me with God’s head.
If God can pray this for Godself, at the very least we can pray the same for our own selves, it seems to me.
*This makes sense in the Hebrew–×‘×™×ª ×ª×¤×œ×ª×™
R. Ishmael (let’s not let the hermenuetics of his name be lost) is a great model here for us. As you so rightly said, so may we pray. And the tefillah he prayed is the same of the Holy One’s…for compassion, for mercy.
What a better year 5769 would be if we all lived out this tefillah.