Resigning to all circumstances as though God wills us to live like this forever leads to passivity and indifference – the opposite of faith, hope and love. In contrast, the Bible is filled with prayers that lead to breakthrough.
Daniel 9:1-23 – Daniel’s prayer for Israel’s restoration
2 In the first year of [Darius’] reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would complete seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. 4 And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments… 8 O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him…
18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.
21 …While I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. 23 At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision…”
Observations and reflections
Context: Daniel had been exiled and enslaved along with the Jews for 70 years by the time of this prayer. In reading Jeremiah’s scroll he saw that God foretold their restoration was due, and determined to humbly pray for deliverance from slavery.
- What was the basis for Daniel’s determined time of prayer and fasting? (verse 2)
- What was Daniel’s attitude while praying? (verses 3-4a)
- With what does Daniel’s prayer start? (verse 4b)
- What does he pray next? (verses 5-9)
- What does Gabriel’s answer suggest about the duration of Daniel’s prayer? (verse 23)
- Why is Daniel so confident in his prayer? (two things: verse 2 and verses 9,18)
Personal reflection and Application
As a youth, Daniel and his friends were exiled and enslaved. For 70 years, they endured and served two empires, but never stopped praying and waiting for God’s restoration of Judah. The prayer above lead to the miraculous return and restoration of God’s chosen nation.
Let’s pray according to this breakthrough-prayer of Daniel. Which situation in your life, community or country do you yearn most for God’s breakthrough?
- WORD: Can you recall God speaking to you about this situation in Scripture or otherwise? If yes, remind God; if not ask God and listen/ read the Word.
- PRAISE: Thank and praise God for who he is and what he had done. (feel the faith stirring!)
- CONFESS: If the Spirit of God convicts you, or if your sins are pressing on your conscience, confess your sins to God and ask for forgiveness – receive the gift of grace!
- DETERMINATION: Like yesterday, allow your heart and mind to stir with passion, and pray fervently. Clearly state what you desire from God (Consider fasting).
- CONTINUE: Persist in prayer – pray about this every day! Are you serious about receiving this breakthrough? Hold on to God’s promise and person – he is willing and able!
- Tell a friend about this need for breakthrough; even invite him or her to pray with you regularly about this!