Follow Daniel’s Lead: Pray Without Ceasing
‘O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” ‘
– Daniel 9:19 (NKJV)
Have you read the story about the 85-year-old man who was arrested for praying?
You probably have. That’s the story of Daniel, an elderly Jewish resident in Babylon sentenced to death for faithfully talking to God (Dan. 6).
Although the prayer that sent Daniel to the lions’ den is his most famous talk with God (6:11), it wasn’t the only time we see him in prayer.
In Daniel 9, we read an example of how he prayed. Daniel had been reading in his scroll of Jeremiah that the captivity of his people would last 70 years, and the people were 67 years into the exile (Jer. 25:8-11). He was eager for it to end.
God had called His people to live righteously, but they weren’t doing that. Daniel decided to live righteously despite the lack of faith of the majority of the Jewish nation. He began to pray that God would not delay the end of the captivity.
As he prayed, Daniel focused on worship and confession. His pattern of prayer gives us an important insight into talking to God.
We are to recognize that God is “great and awesome” (v.4) and that “we have sinned” (v.15).
In prayer, we praise and confess.
Let’s follow Daniel’s lead. To him, prayer was as vital as life itself.
What privilege is mine to come
Before the Father’s throne,
To speak to Him in earnest prayer,
Make all my wishes known.
No one stands as tall as a Christian on his/her knees.
O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from this nation, Nigeria; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Nigeria and her people are a reproach to all those around us.
Now, therefore, our God, hear the prayer and supplications of Your children, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on this land.
O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations and the cities you delineated us into; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.
O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”