I don’t believe it is possible to underestimate the necessity and value of prayer. And the longer we study Scripture, the more we will return to this same theme because it appears all across the Bible.
But of all the passages in the Old Testament that relate to prayer, there is perhaps none finer than Daniel 9. Now, it does not give us direct instruction in how to pray. Instead, it provides for us a majestic model of what prayer is and should be. Instead of teaching by precept, it teaches by Daniel’s marvelous example.
Throughout the book named after him, Daniel stands as an example of spiritual excellence. He was head and shoulders above everyone around him, and his bold faith and lack of compromise stand out to us as we read. But perhaps one of his most noteworthy characteristics is that he was a man dedicated to prayer. In fact, his commitment to prayer is what got him thrown into the den of lions in Daniel 6.
His prayers weren’t rootless or mystical, either. Daniel prayed in response to Scripture. And his prayer in Daniel 9 is a specific response to a prophecy in the Book of Jeremiah saying that God would rescue Judah from Babylon after 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11-12). As Daniel read this prophecy as an old man, he could do the math and realize that deliverance was only a few years away. And in light of this discovery, he prays this remarkable prayer in a spirit of humility and reverence:
Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances …
Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day … because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; nor have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets …
As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth. Therefore the Lord has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the Lord our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice …
O Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous acts, let now Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a reproach to all those around us …
O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name. (Daniel 9:4-5, 7-10, 13-14, 16, 18-19)
This prayer is long and rich, and for the next few weeks I want to give it a careful examination. In doing so, we will find timeless principles for how we should commune with God, make requests for ourselves, and intercede for others.
The Master’s University and Seminary admit students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.
21726 Placerita Canyon Road
Santa Clarita, CA 91321
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|