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Summary: What this passage tells us about 1) prayer 2) planning (guidance) 3) prophecy (and the end time)

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Principles of prayer and prophecy Daniel 9:20-27 WBC 25.04.04pm

I read a little while ago about a woman baking a pie at home when the school rings and tells her her son is ill. She calculates she can get there and back before the pie is done- so pops it in the oven and sprints off. They arrive back and she puts the son to bed- but then remembers she forgot to collect medication for him. ¡¥he¡¦ll be okay for a few mins¡¦ she thinks- so she drives down to the chemists, picks up the medication¡K gets back to the car to find she¡¦s locked her keys in the ignition.

And then remembers the safety-hazard pie in the oven! She phones her son on the moby and he croaks ¡¥get a coat-hanger, Mum! That¡¦ll get you in!¡¦ She hangs up and eventually gets a wire coat hanger (not a plastic one)

All the frustrations of the day collapse on her and she began crying. Then she prayed, ¡§Dear Lord, my boy is sick and he needs this medicine and my pie is in the oven and the keys are locked in the car and, Lord, I don¡¦t know what to do with this coat hanger. Dear Lord, send somebody who does know what do with it, and I really need that person NOW, Lord. Amen.¡¨ She was wiping her eyes when a beat-up older car pulled up to the curb and stopped in front of her. A young man, twentyish-looking, in a T-shirt and ragged jeans, got out. The first thing she noticed about him was the long, stringy hair, and then the beard that hid everything south of his nose. He was coming her way. When he drew near she stepped in front of him and held out the wire coat hanger. ¡§Young man,¡¨ she said, ¡§do you know how to get into a locked car with one of these?¡¨ He gaped at her for a moment, then plucked the hanger from her hand. ¡§Where¡¦s the car?¡¨ She had never seen anything like it--it was simply amazing how easily he got into her car. A quick look at the door and window, a couple of twists of the coat hanger and bam! Just like that, the door was open. When she saw the door open she threw her arms around him. ¡§Oh,¡¨ she said, ¡§the Lord sent you! You¡¦re such a good boy. You must be a Christian,¡¨ He stepped back and said, ¡§No ma¡¦am, I¡¦m not a Christian, and I¡¦m not a good boy. I just got out of prison yesterday.¡¨ She jumped at him and she hugged him again fiercely. ¡§Praise God!¡¨ she cried. ¡§He sent me a professional!¡¨

From a sermon by Paul Decker

Intro:

Tonight is going to be an educated ramble covering prayer, guidance (as that¡¦s what much prayer is for) and prophecy. All 3 link together- and are here in Daniel 9

Background: 9:1-19. Daniel remembers the word of Jeremiah that Judah will spend 70 years in captivity- and is concerned because that time is drawing near. Sets to prayer

PRAYER- it¡¦s principles

The first thing I want you to see from this passage, tonight, about prayer (and specifically prayer regarding the future) is how quickly God answers

- a woman is desperate and prays ¡§Lord, please get me a parking space¡K near the doctor¡¦s surgery door. My appointment¡¦s about to start!¡¨. She hasn¡¦t even finished when she sees the reversing lights of someone coming out- right near the surgery. She made straight for it and as she pulled in, she said, "never mind God, something just opened up."

My aim is not to be flippant, or to make prayer a slot machine to you- but to give you confidence that when you pray about something¡K about your future- God hears and answers

- here, the angel says 9:23 23 As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.

So- when it comes to things that matter to YOU (like this did to Dan)- start from the point of confidence that god hears and answers

- Jesus, Mt 6:8 ¡§your father knows what you need before you ask¡¨

- ISA 65:24 Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear

So- guidance and prayer is NOT something you need to get up tight about. God IS on your side. You ARE highly esteemed. He will answer

- whether you see that answer or not, and whether it¡¦s what you expect or not!

But there are a few things you can glean from here that will help in your prayer:

1. Come to God humbly and (v20) confess your sin. Sin is a block to God- and can mean that he doesn¡¦t answer, or you are not able to SEE/receive the answer

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