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Summary: This morning we’re going to focus on how to pray with humility. Most of us are much better at excusing our sins and failures than we are at confessing them. We’re quick to point out other peoples’ mistakes, but we have a hard time admitting when we’ve b

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How to Pray with Humility

This morning we’re going to focus on how to pray with humility. Most of us are much better at excusing our sins and failures than we are at confessing them. We’re quick to point out other peoples’ mistakes, but we have a hard time admitting when we’ve blown it. Here are some actual excerpts from insurance companies where individuals who had accidents explained what went wrong.

• Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree that I don’t own.

• The other guy was all over the road and I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.

• I had been driving my car for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.

• The telephone pole approached my car at a rapid speed, as I swerved to get out of its way, it hit me.

• I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and drove over the embankment.

According to the results of our Spiritual Needs Survey, that was distributed in March, 70% of people at PBC pray more than 5 times a week. That’s pretty good, but it could be better. As we begin this morning, let me ask you a very personal question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your prayer life?

John Owen, a Puritan writer, has said: “What an individual is in secret on his knees before God, that’s who he really is, and no more.”

Let’s take a look at 6 significant truths about effective praying from the Old Testament prophet Daniel.

1. Pray Biblically (vs. 1-2)

Notice verses 1-2: “In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes, who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom ­ in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.”

I picture Daniel reading and studying his copy of the Scriptures. He was an old man, approaching 90 years of age. He had been sent to Babylon almost 70 years earlier and had proven himself as the prime minister under 3 successive kings. Here’s what he was reading from Jeremiah 29:10-12: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

We know that Daniel and others had been taken captive in 605 B.C. and that it was now 538 B.C. and so Daniel has been in captivity for 67 years. He recognizes that his people are only 3 years away from returning to Jerusalem. He also realizes that they are not spiritually prepared, so he is driven to his knees in prayer, simply from reading and understanding the Word of God.

Although things looked humanly hopeless and it appeared impossible that the exile would end soon, Jeremiah now had a firm word from the Lord. Are you facing anything that looks hopeless right now? If so, stand on the promises of the Word of God and pray like Daniel did.


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Aaron Legendre

commented on Oct 25, 2007

very helpful. I am constantly being asked about prayer. thank you

Robert Law

commented on Sep 8, 2008

Daniel 9 reminds us that we should be praying in the same passion, humility and confession of sins of our own nation and plead for His great mercy and Christ''s salvation to the nation.

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