Praying Through the Bible #95
TEXT: Daniel 9:1-8
We are continuing our mini-series on the prayer that Daniel prayed for the nation of Israel as they were on the verge of being delivered from their time of exile. Daniel, who had always been a faithful prayer warrior, now in his old age, intercedes for his people. He didn’t have to. He wasn’t required to. But, I believe God called him to the task and he obeyed.
In our first two messages, we saw the following about Daniel’s prayer for his people.
1. Daniel took time to prepare to pray.
2. Daniel kept in mind God’s awesomeness and faithfulness
3. Daniel openly confessed that his people had sinned.
4. Daniel’s prayer was based on the Word of God.
5. Daniel prayed with great determination.
6. Daniel offered his prayer in humility.
Right now, we are going to look at the three main parts of Daniel’s prayer.
1. First, we notice the complete and specific confession of sin. In verses 5 and 6 Daniel prays, “We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.”
2. Second, we notice that Daniel is focused on God’s glory in his prayer. In verse 17 He prayed: “Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.” Daniel offers his requests for “the Lord’s sake” or for God’s glory. In this prayer, Daniel makes reference to God 19 times, while making reference to man only 11 times. His prayer is God-focused and not man-focused.
3. Third, we notice that Daniel appeals to God’s righteousness and mercy. In verse 18, Daniel prays, “…for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.” Daniel did not try to give God any reasons why He should restore the nation of Israel. He knew that the Israelites had no “righteousness” to speak of. The Bible says in Isaiah 64:6: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
As those who feel an urgency to stand in the gap for our families, churches, communities, and nation, we can cling to this promise — that God is ready to forgive and show mercy to us if we will only call on Him.