Daniel 9:1-19May 18, 2023 By Tim Buck
“Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.”
We’re always in a battle. It’s not a fight against circumstances or people, but against powers, principalities, and spiritual forces (Eph. 6:12). We certainly see the battle raging around us in the actions of men and nations, but it also rages in the heavenlies and even in our own hearts (James 4:1-4).
When Daniel read from Jeremiah 25, he didn’t forget for a moment this very biblical principle: prayer is the proper act in all times and circumstances. The fulfillment Daniel anticipated was one of great joy for the deliverance of Jerusalem.
Daniel’s prayer reveals much of what he believes about God, and it reveals how we, too, can walk with God in all circumstances (Dan. 9:18-19). With the promise of restoration at hand, Daniel focuses on God’s righteousness, remembering that the initial captivity of God’s people was due to His judgment against their sin and idolatry. Recognizing the people’s rebellious and forgetful nature, and not presuming God’s mercies, Daniel prays, “Lord, righteousness belongs to you” (v.7). It’s a prayer that offers us clear principles for how we can approach the Lord and His instruction.
First, God’s faithfulness doesn’t eliminate our need for prayers, but galvanizes it. In the face of blessing, the natural inclination of the human heart is self-congratulation. We like to take credit for the good stuff (but not the bad), and tell ourselves, “I must have done something good to deserve this.” But James reminds us that every good gift is from God (James 1:17) and depends wholly upon His grace. Therefore, blessings should always humble us.
Second, prayer fixes our thoughts on God, rather than the circumstances. Worry, fear, materialism, and selfishness all grow dim in the light of Christ. Our petitions are first and foremost to be for His glory as we seek first the kingdom of heaven (Mt. 6:33), just as Daniel petitions God to act for the sake of His own glory.
Third, prayer recognizes God’s goodness and greatness. Because of His goodness, we are called by His name and enjoy the security and joy of salvation. Because of His grace, we can approach Him with confidence that He hears all our petitions and confessions. Because of His greatness, we know He has the power and authority to answer.
And God Answers!
God responds to Daniel not only with the assurance of Jerusalem’s restoration, but with the promise of “the Anointed One” who will satisfy the need for offerings and sacrifices and judge the destroyer (Dan. 9:25-27).
Praise God, our faithful High Priest Jesus hears and answers our prayers. Take a minute to be blessed by reading Daniel’s amazing prayer in Daniel 9:1-19.
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