Carolyn NapoleonWomen's Ministry Leader, Worship Assistant
Read Carolyn’s word from the Lord on the Book of Daniel:
“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary.18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” (Daniel 9:17-19)
Throughout the book of Daniel, we see that Daniel was a man of prayer. Though the demands of his high-ranking position in the Babylonian court would no doubt have kept him extremely busy, he was committed to kneel down facing Jerusalem and pray three times a day, “giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (Daniel 6:10). He was intentional in his prayer life. He did not let political, social, or personal circumstances, not even life-threatening decrees, deter him from his commitment to spending time daily with his God in prayer. We can learn a lot from his example.Do we let the busyness of our lives distract us from spending time with God, or are we as intentional and committed to our prayer time as Daniel was?
Daniel also spent time studying the Scriptures. We see in Daniel Chapter 9 that Daniel was reading the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent to the Hebrew people in exile (Jeremiah 29), in which he learned that the 70-year exile would soon be coming to an end.Jeremiah prophesied that when God’s people would call upon the Lord in prayer, and seek Him with their whole hearts, the Lord would call them back from exile. Daniel’s immediate response was to pray and intercede for his whole nation. “So I turned to the LORD God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” (Daniel 9:3)In twelve of the sixteen verses of “The Daniel Prayer,” Daniel specifically confessed the sins of the nation of Judah, as if they were his own. He did not point his finger at his countrymen, but included himself in the sins of the nation. He confessed their wickedness and rebellion, their turning from God’s commands and laws, and their refusal to listen to God’s prophets who spoke in His name. He also acknowledged God’s righteousness, mercy, forgiveness, and His righteous judgements, including the fulfillment of His judgement against Judah for their many sins which led to their exile. Daniel’s plea was that God would be glorified once again through their personal and national lives. It was a prayer for national restoration and revival.
Today our nation of America has become a modern-day Babylon, and many of our people have rebelled and turned away from the One true God. We have fallen a long way from the country our founding fathers established. Our sins are many. We as a nation are guilty of the blood of millions of innocent lives of our children who have been sacrificed on the altar of convenience. We have defiled the covenant of marriage, and sexual immorality and depravity have become the accepted norm. We are a nation where self is exalted. Good is now evil, and evil is now good. Could this be the reason that our prayers for revival have not been answered? Are we left without hope? No! Like the Hebrew exiles we should not despair, because like them, we have the presence of God, the privilege of prayer, and God’s grace. God can be found when we seek Him with our whole hearts. It is time that we, the Church of Jesus Christ,do as Daniel did so long ago, and get on our knees to pray and specifically confess our sins and the sins of our countrymen. We desperately need to intercede for our nation, pray for our leaders, and ask for God’s mercy and intervention. Daniel’s prayer could easily be used as a template for us to pray as we pray for our own nation. Let’s pray for the Holy Spirit to move us all to repentance that we may become, once again, One Nation Under God, and give Him all the glory!
May 15, 2020