Daily D – Daniel 9:21-23
Daniel 9:21-23 “As I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came swiftly to me at the time of the evening sacrifice. He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision.” (NLT)
How could God answer Daniel’s prayer before he even formed his thoughts and spoke his words?
God knew Daniel’s heart and mind better than Daniel himself knew it. He knew what Daniel was about to pray. God knew Daniel’s heart was aligned with his purpose and plan. God knew Daniel wanted what he wanted.
The secret to answered prayer is not a secret. When we want what God wants, God says Yes. When we learn to align our desires with God’s desires, when we realize what he wants for us is better than anything we want for ourselves, we begin experiencing what people like to call power in prayer.
Return to Psalm 37 for insight. Verse 4 is a favorite memory verse for many. Ponder its context. Read verses 3-7 for broader and better understanding:
Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
There are seven To Do’s in this passage and two To Don’t’s.
1. Trust in the LORD.
2. Do good.
3. Take delight in the LORD.
4. Commit everything you do to the LORD.
5. Trust him.
6. Be still in the presence of the LORD.
7. Wait patiently for him to act.
* Don’t worry.
* Don’t fret.
Return to Daniel’s prayer. Read verses 7-19. Notice how he talked to God about Israel’s current reality and how it was brought about by long years of disobedience and rebellion. See how Daniel confessed “my sin and the sin of my people,” (verse 20).
Agree with God about our current reality and how we got here. Confess your sin. Confess the sin of our nation. Seek the good God longs to give to those who love him.
Remember God’s nature and character. Daniel begins his prayer with this praise:
“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands,” (verse 4).
God’s love never ends. God keeps his promises.
This is powerful praying.
I will learn to pray like Daniel and David.
Our Father, teach me to pray. Deliver me from whiny, self-centered prayer. Reorient my prayers away from asking for blessings as if I had to arm wrestle you for them. Give me a heart in tune with yours so I may seek what you desire for me. Give me a bigger, broader vision than myself. Empower me to see what you see and to want what you want for this world. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”