- What Now?
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“I Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,” – Daniel 9:2-4
In these verses, Daniel and the rest of Israel is still in captivity in Babylon. They were a people that were out of place with no security. While reading scripture God spoke to Daniel’s heart that the Babylonian exile was coming to an end after 70 years. He realized how much he and his country needed God to intervene. Daniel gets serious about prayer. The Bible says Daniel “turned his face to the Lord God.” Other versions say “He set his face toward God. He fixed his attention and focused on God. He even fasted. Daniel was serious.
Once he was focused, look at what he did. Next, it says “I prayed to the Lord God and then He made his “confession.” This word confession has the idea of moaning and wringing of hands. Daniel got focused, prayed, and humbled himself with confession. “We have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.” – Daniel 9:5-6
God will not hear us if we are holding onto our sin. Isaiah 59:2 says, “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. In Psalm 66:18 we read, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”
So often our prayer is casual prayer, prayer that comes with almost a “take-it-or-leave-it” attitude. Many of us could not even remember what we prayed for this morning. We rattle off little “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayers. The truth is, our prayers are undisciplined and exhibit no determination.
Later in this chapter, Gabriel shows up and gives Daniel a message directly from God. God wants to guide us. He wants to give us direction.
My challenge to you is to set your face to prayer. Focus and humble yourself and desperately seek the Lord just like you seek breath. If you want to see God move in your life, devote yourself to prayer. Someone said “God does business with those who mean business.” Set your face, make your confession, then move on to worship and petitioning. Let’s get serious about prayer.