Daniel 9:1-19 (NIV)
Elly Grover, Administrative Assistant, Care Ministries
Most people are familiar with the first part of today’s reading in Daniel 6:1-28. This is the story of how Daniel refused to stop worshiping God, even under the threat of death. God protected him by shutting the mouths of the hungry lions when he was thrown into their den. God also protected Daniel from the evil men who were trying to destroy him…they ended up being destroyed by the lions instead!
I have chosen to concentrate on the second part of today’s reading (Daniel 9:1-19) which may not be as familiar. Found in this scripture is an excellent example of how to effectively communicate with (pray to) our Heavenly Father.
Daniel fasted, confessed his sin, and asked God to reveal His will to him. He was very open, accepting blame for both himself and the Israelites when he prayed “we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name…” Daniel showed a deep concern for others. He begged for God to show mercy and to help them even though they deserved God’s wrath and punishment for their disobedience.
We may think that we are not as sinful as someone else, but Daniel (who lived a righteous life) helps us to see that we all need forgiveness. Instead of blaming others and making excuses for ourselves we must examine our own hearts and confess our own sins.
Learning from Daniel’s example we can improve our communication with God by asking ourselves the following questions …Do our prayers include praising God for who He is? Are we honest with God? Do we confess our sins? Do we ask Him to reveal His will to us? Do we have compassion for others, praying for them, that God will meet them right where their needs are? Do we have thankful hearts when God gives us mercy instead of the punishment we deserve?