Summary: Exposition of the answer to Daniel's prayer in Daniel 9, and the 70 weeks prophecy
Text: Daniel 9:20-27, Title: Extraordinary Answers to Prayer, Date/Place: NRBC, 5/2/10, AM
A. Opening illustration: Tell the story of Brother Yun in the isolation box, praying for a bible
B. Background to passage: this is another one of those instances where prayer is answered in a mighty way. Don’t ever think that your prayers do not make a difference! And this is some extraordinary answer! This prayer was answered like Solomon’s because of the heart of the pray-er is focused on the glory of God and the advance of the kingdom, and it has been cleansed from sin. Our prayer can sometimes be hindered if we are not right with God, like in the case of the husband who doesn’t live with his wife according to wisdom (1 Pet 3), or if we pray with improper motives and ends that are self-centered (James 4:3). But
C. Main thought: when we pray rightly in faith, God answers, for He is faithful!
A. Extraordinary Love (v. 20-23)
1. Four things that I want you to see in this part of the text: 1) God is always listening. He never sleeps, nor slumbers. In fact Gabriel says that the command for him to come swiftly came at the beginning of your prayer. For God hearing millions of faithful believers praying simultaneously all over the world is nothing. He takes delight in the prayer of people whose heart is right with Him because their prayers are a reflection of their heart. 2) God is always answering prayer. He sent an angel that arrived before Daniel was done speaking. He loves to lavish His grace upon His people when they seek Him in prayer. 3) God is always merciful and forgiving. God had not given Israel what they truly deserved. A Righteous God would have given judgment. He should have started over with Daniel. But God told Daniel of deliverance physically and spiritually through Messiah. 4) God is always pouring out His love and demonstrating it toward us. In fact the word for God’s mercy is chesed, and can be translated loving kindness or steadfast love. This particular word means desired. God loved, desired to be with Daniel. And He was about to bring Daniel to a time of righteousness, and give him what he doesn’t deserve.
2. Ps 121:3-4, 51:17, Isa 64:4, Pro 15:8, Luke 11:9-13, Rom 8:15, 32
3. Illustration: "If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!" Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted. Looking up at me, she asked: "Can I go over with you, Mummy, and give this dolly to that little girl, so she’ll know that Jesus really loves her?" the story of Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Tipp City, Ohio? In the late 70’s, the church was a small, struggling congregation. One day, their pastor, Mike Slaughter, went out into the corn field behind the church. And he said, "Lord, I love you. And I love this church. But I just wanted to let you know that I’m not leaving this cornfield until you show me what your plan is! Do you want me to stay with this church? And if you do, what do you want me to do to lead it into the next century?" And I think he stayed out there for like three days. But when he got up and went home, he had a vision for what God wanted him to do. And today, they have over 3000 members.
4. If prayer is hindered, it is not because God is not listening. Answers vary; no, yes, maybe, wait, silence. God is the master of timing, and always has a good and wise plan by which to bring about all that He pleases. And many times God doesn’t answer prayer the way that we like or when we like, but He is always answering. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to receive His answers (or even His silence, which is an answer, like when your wife asks you if the dress makes her look fat, and you know that there is no good answer to this question) as gifts of love and mercy and thank Him for them. God loves you! Your name is graven on His hand and written on His heart. You picture is on God’s refrigerator. He is jealous for you. The Love of God. And God desires you. He wants you to follow Him, love Him, and want to be with Him. He has and will pour out His love upon you, if you will trust in Him. When you are ready to give up, don’t! When you think He hasn’t heard, take that thought captive! When you think that He doesn’t care, know that He does! He is a God whose love never fails! Brandon Heath song, Love never fails you