Daniel's Example of Prayer and Confession, September 22


And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession. Daniel 9:3, 4.

Daniel's example of prayer and confession is given for our instruction and encouragement.... Daniel knew that the appointed time for Israel's captivity was nearly ended, but he did not feel that because God had promised to deliver them, they themselves had no part to act. With fasting and contrition he sought the Lord, confessing his own sins and the sins of the people....
Daniel makes no plea on the ground of his own goodness, but he says: “O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies” (Daniel 9:18). His intensity of desire makes him earnest and fervent. He continues: “O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.” ...
What a prayer was that which came forth from the lips of Daniel! What humbling of soul it reveals! The warmth of heavenly fire was recognized in the words that were going upward to God. Heaven responded to that prayer by sending its messenger to Daniel. In this our day, prayers offered in like manner will prevail with God. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). As in ancient times, when prayer was offered, fire descended from heaven and consumed the sacrifice upon the altar, so in answer to our prayers, the heavenly fire will come into our souls. The light and power of the Holy Spirit will be ours.... That God who heard Daniel's prayer will hear ours when we come to Him in contrition. Our necessities are as urgent, our difficulties are as great, and we need to have the same intensity of purpose, and in faith roll our burden upon the great Burden Bearer. There is need for hearts to be as deeply moved in our time as in the time when Daniel prayed.27The Review and Herald, February 9, 1897.

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