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Summary: to stress the importance of intercessory prayer, confession of sin and humbling ourselves before God

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Daniel: A Man of Prayer

Daniel 9:1-11,16-19

Primary Purpose: To stress the importance of intercessory prayer

Lately, I feel a renewed sense of the importance of intercessory prayer.

History shows us that no church, denomination or country has ever outgrown

it’s need for prayer. No revival or renewal in our country has ever occurred

without prayer. More than ever, I feel God calling us to our knees in prayer.

If you ever seen the movie “Cast Away” with Tom Hanks then you

probably know who Wilson is. The story goes that Hanks plays the part of

Chuck Nolan, a fast paced FedEx executive who gets stranded when his plane

goes down in the middle of the South Pacific. In trying to survive, he started

a fire with a sharp stick and cuts his hand severely. In anger, he takes the

volleyball and throws it as hard as he can. When it lands he sees that his

bloody hand has made an imprint which looks like a fiery head. With his

finger he draws a face in the blood- an idol if you will. He talks to his new

friend.

What you should also notice is that all through the film Hank’s

character never prays to God. He’ll talk to the volleyball, but never to God.

Now, you should ask yourself why he never did that? but then you have to

ask yourself why people trust in all kinds of other things rather than God.

They will talk to their friends, they will talk to Dr.Laura, they will pray to the

dead, they will read a self-help book or go to a therapist who has just as many

problems as they do. But, they will not come to Jesus. We are called to go

to Him first.

In Judean history, God at one time disciplined God’s people by

sending them into exile to a place called Babylon. God had told the people

he would do this back in Moses time and continued to warn them until they

had completely forsaken the Lord and had turned corrupt and violent. They

turned from God to self and idol worship. God didn’t completely abandon

them, however; God promised that through a period of time he would bring

back the people of God to their homeland. It’s during the end of this period

of exile that we see Daniel praying in Daniel 9:1-11,16-19 interceding for his

nation.

First, notice that Daniel was a man who regularly sought the Lord. The

whole reason he knows the exile should be ending soon is because he was

reading the book of Jeremiah. (9:2). Daniel had practiced prayer 3 times a

day (6:10). He didn’t have any less of a busy schedule than any of us. He

was one of 3 top administrators of the most powerful country on the planet.

Yet, he made time to pray.

Second, Daniel openly confessed sin and rebellion v.4-6. God has

promised us both in the Old and New Testament that he will forgive us our

sins if we ask him to.

In Psalm 103 it says that God removes our sins as far as the east is

from the west. Do you understand how far that is?

If you were to travel north from anywhere, at what point would you

begin going south? At the north pole. But if you were traveling east from

anywhere, at what point would you be going west? Never! That’s how far

God removes our sins from us when they are forgiven.

Notice how many times Daniel uses the word “we” as he confesses sin.

He uses “we” at least 17 times in this prayer. He pleads with God to forgive

sin not on the basis of his goodness, but on God’s goodness. Daniel

understands that God is always quick to forgive. He didn’t want to send the

children of Israel or Judea into exile to begin with. His holiness demanded

that he judge what was taking place. Daniel knows God is willing to forgive

if he just humbles himself and asks. Notice, Daniel humility in that his prayer

is in fasting, sackcloth and ashes v.3

Sometimes we forget just as powerful prayer is. But, praying by faith

is the most powerful force in the universe.

George Mueller was born in Prussia on September 27, 1805. His

father was a collector of taxes and George seemed to inherit his father’s

ability with figures.

When Mueller was converted to Christ he was impressed with how

many times Jesus said for us “to ask.” At this point in Mueller’s life he and

his wife launched into a daring experiment. First, they gave away all of their

household goods. The next step was even more daring, he refused all regular

salary from the small mission he had been serving. He then set out to

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