Daniel’s Prayer of a Faithful Heart – My Daily Bread!
Today’s call to reflection is taken from the book of Daniel Chapter 9 vs. 18b where it says “We do not make request of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy”. This scripture acknowledges that God’s blessings flow from HIM to his people because of who HE is, not because of who we are or what we have done, or are doing for God. We do not deserve anything, but God’s grace gives us much.
Daniel was part of the young Jewish nobility carried into captivity from Jerusalem when the Babylonians destroyed the Temple and subjected the Nation of Judah to their rule. Because God’s spirit was upon Daniel he remained faithful to the Lord despite the pressures of living in the wicked city of Babylon. In Chapter 9 are recorded Daniel’s fervent petitions to God for rescue, as he prayed for the condition of the Jews who were afar off in captivity in Babylon due to their disobedience to the Lord. Although, we are not in physical captivity today, oftentimes we may be in some form of spiritual captivity and therefore still far away from God and His blessings on our lives.
Daniel’s example of prayer before God is a wonderful example of how to bring our petitions before the Lord. It is a comforting reminder of God’s faithfulness and love toward those who obey him and do his will. The first thing we note that is important and also impressive is that Daniel was studying the Word of the Lord before he petitioned God: “I Daniel understood from the Scriptures (vs. 2)”
Secondly, Daniel praised God for his righteousness and greatness as God, his love and mercy toward Israel, even despite their disobedience. He showed the need for God’s mercy by contrasting God’s holiness and faithfulness vs. Israel’s rebellion and disobedience. In this message of dire contrast is the merciful hope of true fellowship with God, through our Savior the Christ! “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame.” (vs. 4-10)
Thirdly, we are reminded that we cannot seek God’s favor on our situation if we “do not turn from our sin and give attention to his truth (vs. 13). “Daniel acknowledged his sins and the sins of the nation and asked for forgiveness. ”We have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. We have sinned, we have done wrong. O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem”. (vs. 10-11; 15-16)
Finally, Daniel not only prayed, but asked God to hear his prayer and to act! “O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, Oh my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name (vs. 19)”.
GOD IN ACTION: God immediately responded to Daniel, for the scriptures tell us: “While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making request to the Lord my God for his holy hill, while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision came to me in swift flight. He instructed me and said to me ‘Daniel I have come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you”. (vs. 20-23)
God can bring us healing when we are hurt, peace when we are troubled, and strength when we are weak. Trust in God to minister to you as he did to Daniel and pray without ceasing for He that called you is faithful and HE IS ABLE!
Copyright© 2011 Colleen Holton All Rights Reserved.