Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God,Daniel 9:20(NASB)
Daniel was a man of prayer who studied the Scriptures and took God at His word. He knew that his people, Israel were in captivity in Babylon.. because of their gross sin, idolatrous apostasy and ongoing unbelief.. but Daniel trusted God, studied His word and maintained a godly prayer-life.
It was one day, as he was reading the book of Jeremiah the prophet.. that Daniel discovered that the Babylonian captivity was only to last 70 years - and that the time was close at hand for Israel's deliverance from their enslavement. Daniel purposed in his heart to earnestly seek the Lord and to pray into the prophecy that was soon to be fulfilled. Daniel knew the Scriptures and trusted God's promises and so he started to pray that the will of God would be fulfilled as prophesised in the Word of God.
It was his faith in God and his understanding of the Scriptures that caused Daniel to fast and pray and confess his sin and the sin of the whole nation. He covered himself in sackcloth and ashes as was the custom of the day.. to demonstrate the heartfelt grief he felt about Israel's gross sin against the Lord.. as he offered up his pleading supplication to the Lord.
Daniel knew from the writings of Moses that Israel's subjugation under Gentile domination had resulted from their continuous disobedience.. and he also knew from other scripture that if God's people, who were called by His name would humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways.. that He would hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.. And so Daniel humbled himself, fasted, confessed his sin and the sin of his nation - and Daniel prayed into the promises of God.
And it was while Daniel was speaking.. while Daniel was praying - while Daniel was confessing his sin and the sin of his people and presenting his supplication to the Lord.. that God answered his prayer by sending him a message in the form of the angel Gabriel - who revealed to him a prophecy so astonishing that it has intrigued and encouraged generations of Jewish and Christian believers for many centuries.
Not only did Daniel's prayer include confession of sin and rest securely on the promises, precepts and prophecies of God.. but it also was founded on a profound understanding and total acceptance of the perfect character and holy attributes of God. Daniel trusted God's Word because God is trustworthy. Daniel believed His word because the Lord is faithful - and He is holy and righteousness and forgiving and gracious and merciful and loving and kind and true.
Daniel not only exhibited a total trust in God but also a genuine love for his fellow Israelites.. His prayer and petition were not selfish or egocentric - but displayed a desire for the good of His people Israel and to the glory of God's holy name. Daniel was an old man when he prayed and confessed before the Lord - but his beautiful prayer and the prophetic answer that he received from God would impact millions of men and women down through centuries of time, who have been brought to an understanding of the 70-weeks of Daniel. which were determined for Israel and Jerusalem - to finish transgression, to make an end of sin, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most High.
Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You for the wonderful example of Daniel, who was a man of prayer who knew the Scriptures, trusted Your Word, prayed into Your will and translated the needs of his fellow men into humble confession and godly intercession. I pray that I may be one that studies to show myself approved unto God.. come to a deeper understanding of Your perfect character and be guided by the Holy Spirit to pray into Your will - to Your praise and glory, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.