As we continue our series on prayers of the Bible, we find ourselves in the book of Daniel. Specifically, Daniel 9:3-19
3 Then I turned to the Lord God to seek an answer by prayer and supplication with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying,
“Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, keeping covenant and steadfast love with those who love you and keep your commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong, acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and ordinances. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.
7 “Righteousness is on your side, O Lord, but open shame, as at this day, falls on us, the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them because of the treachery that they have committed against you. 8 Open shame, O Lord, falls on us, our kings, our princes, and our ancestors because we have sinned against you. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, but we have rebelled against him 10 and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
11 “All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. So the curse and the oath written in the law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out upon us because we have sinned against you. 12 He has confirmed his words that he spoke against us and against our rulers by bringing upon us a calamity so great that what has been done against Jerusalem has never before been done under the whole heaven. 13 Just as it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us. We did not entreat the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and reflecting on his fidelity. 14 So the Lord kept watch over this calamity until he brought it upon us. Indeed, the Lord our God is right in all that he has done, for we have disobeyed his voice.
15 “And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and made your name renowned even to this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 O Lord, in view of all your righteous acts, let your anger and wrath, we pray, turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain; because of our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors, Jerusalem and your people have become a disgrace among all our neighbors. 17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his supplication, and for your own sake, Lord, let your face shine upon your desolated sanctuary. 18 Incline your ear, O my God, and hear. Open your eyes and look at our desolation and the city that bears your name. We do not present our supplication before you on the ground of our righteousness but on the ground of your great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, listen and act and do not delay! For your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people bear your name!”
Throughout Daniel’s life he has been an example of a person of prayer. At this point in Daniel chapter 9, he is somewhere between 80 and 90 years old. Even at that age, Daniel is still studying the scriptures, still seeking God, and humble enough to repent on Israel’s behalf.
What stands out to you in Daniel’s prayer?
When you hear Daniel pray and confess for the people of Israel, does some of that seem accurate to the American church today?
If we were to pray and confess for the modern-day American church, what would that prayer sound like?
Does the modern-day church need to repent? If so, from what?
What would it look like if the modern-day church repented and turned back toward Jesus?
Let’s talk about it on Sunday.
~ Pastor Dustin