Thursday, June 01, 2006

Daniel's Prayer

Verse of the Day
So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. (Daniel 9:3 -NASB)

I hate to admit it, but I'm sort of a "geek." I'm a computer progammer; I play with spreadsheets and databases all day; and I carry a handheld PC (Dell Axim). Oh yeah, I also carry a backpack everywhere with my laptop. Yeah, I'm a geek. Anybody know where I can find a stylish pocket protector?

Anyway, the other day I was cleaning up some files on my Axim and I came across the following notes I had taken during the Oklahoma Baptist Convention last year. One of the keynote speakers was John MacArthur, who spoke on Daniel's prayer in Daniel 9. As I read back through my notes, I was reminded, and rebuked, about my own prayer life. I don't pray enough.

"Then I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes." (Daniel 8:27a; 9:3 - NASB)

Prayer is about lining up with God's purposes.

True Prayer is Generated by the Word
a. Daniel read about God's purposes in the book of Jeremiah (Dan 9:2)
b. Prayer life grows out of time in the Word.

True Prayer is Loyal to God's Will
a. Lines up with what God has declared.
b. Samuel prayed for the people after they asked for a king. (1 Sam 12:20-23)

True Prayer is Fervent
a. "...with fasting, sackcloth and ashes (Dan 9:3)
b. Concerned; intense. Examples: Job shaved his head; Christ sweat blood.
c. Biblical fasting is always connected to prayer.

True Prayer is grounded in Humility
a. Daniel acknowledged his own sin as well as the sin of Israel.

True Prayer is Identified with God's People
a. Note all the pronouns "us," "we," "our."
b. Daniel saw himself as part of the problem; he was just as guilty.
c. Specifically identified the sins. The Israelites had been held captive for 70 years and still had not acknowledged their sin.

True Prayer is Dependent on God's Character
a. "my God...the great and awesome God who keeps his convenant and lovingkindness..." (Dan 9:4)

True Prayer is for "God's Sake"
a. It honors His name (Dan 9:15; 19)
b. Concern for the church, the glory of Christ, the name of God.

One of the things I've been trying to do is pray through our Sunday School class membership each week. I keep a card with the names of each member on my desk at work. Every time I look at it, I'm reminded to pray for each class member..."for the sake of His name."

No comments: