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The Prayer of Daniel
I. The incentive for prayer.
A. His understanding of the word of God.
1. Lev.26:33 "And I will scatter you among the heathen,
and will draw a sword after you: and your land shall be
desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land
enjoy her sabbaths as long as long as it lieth
desolate, and you are in your enemies land; even then
shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
2. He tells us that he had been reading the letter of
Jeremiah. Jeremiah sent a letter to the captives in
Babylon that is recorded in Jeremiah 29, in verse 10 he
said, "For thus saith the Lord that after seventy years
be accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and
perform my good word toward you in causing you to
return to this place, for I know the thoughts that I
have toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, not
of evil, to give you an expected end."
3. Earlier in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim
Jeremiah had predicted the invasion by Nebuchadnezzer
and their being taken as captives. vs. 11 he declared,
And this whole land shall be a desolation and an
astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of
Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass when
seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the
king of Babylon, and will make it desolate."
B. God keeps His promises.
1. In verse 12 he said, "You have confirmed your words
which you spoke against us."
a. Jerusalem was destroyed.
b. They were taken as captives to be slaves in
c. Now after 70 years, Babylon has been punished.
2. Daniel has been in captivity in Babylon for 69 years,
the promised 70 years of captivity are just about over.
I believe that a part of the purpose of Daniel's prayer
was to make himself available to God for any part the
Lord might want him to play in the restoration.
3. Josephus tells us that Daniel did show to Cyrus the
King of Persia, the prophesy of Isaiah written
approximately 150 years before the birth of Cyrus where
calls him by name that he might know that Jehovah is
the God of Israel, and there is no God beside Him. It
was Cyrus that gave the decree that allowed all who
wished to return to Jerusalem, from the places where
they had been taken captive.
II. The things that Daniel declared about God.
A. Vs. 4 He was a great and awesome God.
B. vs. 4 He was a God that kept His covenant.
C. vs. 4 He was merciful.
D. vs. 7 He was righteous.
E. vs. 9 He was merciful and forgiving.
F. vs. 14 He was righteous in all His works.
G. vs. 15 He is the God who delivered His people out of the land
F. vs. 18 He showed great mercies.
III. What Daniel said about the people of Israel.
A. We have sinned. vs. 5,8,11,15.
1. The Bible says, whoever will confess his sin shall be
forgiven, but he who seeks to cover his sin shall not
2. The Bible that we have all sinned, there is none
righteous, no not one. That if we say that we have no
sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
3. The Bible says that if we confess our sins, He is
faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
B. They had committed iniquity.vs.5
1. Sin is missing the mark
2. Transgression is a willful missing of the mark.
3. Iniquity is the sum total of the two.
C. We have done wickedly. vs.5,15
D. We have rebelled. vs.5,9
1. They had rebelled by departing from His precepts and
2. His mercies and forgiveness are greater than our
3. The Bible says that rebellion is as the sin of
a. They both trace their origin to Satan.
b. Satan rebelled against God.
c. Witchcraft and Satanism are closely related.
E. We have departed from your precepts and judgments. vs.5
1. If you feel far from God, guess who moved.
2. God is always the initiator for fellowship.
3. Man is always the initiator for alienation from
F. We have not harkened to your servants the prophets.
1. During this whole time of rebellion and subsequent
defeat and captivity, the prophet Jeremiah was there
faithfully warning the people and the kings to turn
from their idols to the living God. He foretold the
coming invasion by Babylon and their subsequent defeat.
2. They imprisoned Jeremiah, and sought to kill him.
3. Ezekiel was also prophesying during this same period,
only he was in Babylon with the captives, and was also
4. Habakkuk also forewarned them of the coming Babylonian
invasion because of their sin.
5. Zephaniah, joined in with a message of coming judgment,
as God would utterly consume them from off the face of
G. To us belongs confusion of face. vs.7
1. The idea is that our faces are blushed with
embarrassment because of the shame of our guilt.
2. Eyes downcast wrinkled brow we are guilty and we have
F. We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God. vs.10,14
1. God was faithful in speaking the words of warning to
them through his servants the prophets.
2. Through the prophets God called them to repent and turn
to him, but they did not obey.
G. They all had transgressed His law, not obeying His voice.vs.11
1. Within the law God had declared the curses that would
come upon them if they forsook the covenant that He had
made with them.
2. He promised that they would be scattered throughout the
3. Daniel admits that now this curse has come.
H. In spite of all of the calamity, they still did not pray.
1. I think of the song that was sung in the harvest
crusade last summer. When will the world see that it
2. I look at the disasters that are plaguing our state,
the social upheaval, the children being shot, and
stabbed on the school grounds, the gangs ruling the
streets, the graffiti being sprayed on the walls, the
specter of rising taxes, government bureaucracy that
is out of control, daily robbing us from more of our
freedoms, not addressing the real problems of our
society but itself becoming the greatest problem. When
will the world see that they need Jesus?
3. When will the people humble themselves and pray and
seek the face of God? How bad does it have to get
before people wake up and pray?
I. Daniel declares that they did not pray to the Lord our God
that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand His
1. Sin is so blinding, it dulls the spiritual senses, what
is so very obvious cannot even be seen.
2. The dark clouds of judgment are approaching but they
aren't even aware.
IV. Daniel's petition.
A. It is interesting to me that he does not even begin to petition
God until a full confession of sin is made, and a complete
justification of the righteousness of God in all the judgments
that had fallen upon the people.
B. He does not blame God in any wise for the calamities that had
befallen them. We have sinned, we have transgressed, we have
rebelled, you are righteous, but He is also merciful, and
C. Let your anger and fury be turned away from Jerusalem. vs 16
D. Hear the prayer of your servant. vs 17
E. Incline your ears and hear, open your eyes and behold our
desolations, and the city that is identified with your name.
1. Isaiah had declared that the hand of the Lord is not
short that He cannot save, neither is His ear heavy
that He cannot hear, but your sins have separated you
from your God.
F. In verse 19 he asks for a series of things. Hear O Lord,
forgive O Lord, hearken and do. Finally do not defer or wait.
Do it now. Do it for your own sake, O my God, for the city and
thy people are called by Thy name.
V. The result of his prayer.
A. While he was still speaking the angel Gabriel touched him and
told him that he had been dispatched to give to Daniel skill
and understanding of what the future held for Jerusalem and the
people of God.
B. He declared that Daniel was greatly beloved, I can certainly