The Power of Prayer
Pray: Ask God to give you wisdom and insight to understand the Scripture that you are reading, and the faith to live what He reveals to you.
Read: Daniel 9 (focal emphasis 1-20)
Did you read all of Daniel’s prayer this chapter? Go back and read it if not. There is so much we can learn about God, the heart of a godly person, and ourselves in this prayer. What strikes you the most about his prayer?
By about 538 BC, Daniel would have been close to 80 years of age, living the majority of his life in some type of captivity. The prayer and vision that we read about here in chapter nine would have come some 12 years later from the vision read about in chapter eight.
Because of the disobedience of God’s people (Israel) the holy city Jerusalem would fall into desolations (multiple falls/destructions) from the hands of outside tribes/peoples. An early prophet named Jeremiah prophesied (told the future) that this would occur, in which a complete destruction of Jerusalem would happen, allowing God’s people to be brought into account for their sin, but also – don’t miss this – in order to restore them.
God is about restoration. This is one of the overarching themes of Scripture, that there is a God that is about restoring His fallen/ broken people.
We see this very clearly in the prayer that Daniel offers up to God in verses 4-19. Pay specific attention to how Daniel prays, as it provides an amazing framework for us to pattern our own personal prayer lives after.
- Adoration: Adoring and Declaring the greatness of God (Vs. 4)
- Declaration: Declaring what God has done and what He says in His word (Vs. 4 & 15)
- Confession/ Repentance: Personal repentance for own sin. Repentance for the sins of others. (Vs. 5-14)
- Petition: Asking God for mercy and forgiveness. (Vs. 16-19)
A primary area to note in Daniel’s prayer/petition to God is that it is solely focused on the provision and faithfulness of God Himself and not on Daniel or God’s people. Daniel declares that the only reason He cries out to God is because of God’s faithfulness, righteousness, and mercy. All of these things must come from God, because God’s people have not kept or done any of them. So, reader, doubter, struggler, sinner, anxious, tired believer… pour out your heart to God alongside Daniel by praying, “Lord, hear! Lord, forgive! Lord, listen and act!...” (Vs. 19)
- Do you pray? What tempts you to quit? Why do you keep praying?
- Did you know that God delights when we approach Him in prayer?
- What are areas of your life that you need tor recognize God’s greatness? Have you told Him?
- What are some things you need to ask God forgiveness for? Would you do that now?
Memorize: Daniel 9:19