Summary: GOD WILL REVEAL THE TRUTH OF HIS WORD THROUGH PRAYER!
THE CHRONICLES OF DANIEL #9: PRAYING THROUGH THE WORD
DANIEL 9: 1-27
OCTOBER 31, 2004
INTRODUCTION: POURING CEMENT AT HEPHZIBAH: GET ON YOUR KNEES. I DON’T THINK HE KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT THAT?
TRANSITION THOUGHT: PRAYER IS SERIOUS BUSINESS, BUT NOT COMPLICATED. SOMETIMES WE JUST FORGET HOW DO GO ABOUT IT. OUR TEXT FOR TONIGHT IS A REMINDER TO GET ON YOUR KNEES AND HAVE A LITTLE TALK WITH JESUS! ONE KEY ASPECT FROM OUR TEXT IS THAT OF PRAYING THROUGH GOD’S WORD. GOD SPEAKS TO US THROUGH HIS WORD AND THEN CALLS US TO PRAYER TO RECEIVE AND DISCUSS HIS WORD.
THESIS SENTENCE: GOD WILL REVEAL THE TRUTH OF HIS WORD THROUGH PRAYER!
I. PRAYING THROUGH THE WORD IS A MATTER OF POSTURE VV. 1-3
A. POSTURE IS LOCATION: DARIUS AND BABYLON
B. POSTURE IS INFORMATION: SCRIPTURE AND JEREMIAH
C. POSTURE IS TURNING:
5. SACKCLOTH AND ASHES
ILLUSTRATION: PRAYER’S BEST POSITION
Three ministers were talking about prayer in general and the appropriate and effective positions for prayer. As they were talking, a telephone repairman was working on the phone system in the background.
One minister shared that he felt the key was in the hands. He always held his hands together and pointed them upward as a form of symbolic worship. The second suggested that real prayer was conducted on your knees. The third suggested that they both had it wrong--the only position worth its salt was to pray while stretched out flat on your face.
By this time the phone man couldn’t stay out of the conversation any longer. He interjected, "I found that the most powerful prayer I ever made was while I was dangling upside down by my heels from a power pole, suspended forty feet above the ground."
Contributed by: David Yarbrough
TRUTH: THERE IS A WAY TO PRAY!
QUESTION: ARE WE SERIOUS ENOUGH TO PRAY?
II. PRAYING THROUGH THE WORD IS A MATTER OF CONFESSION VV. 4-16
A. CONFESSION IS CORPORATE: WE HAVE SINNED VV. 4-6
B. CONFESSION IS ABOUT SHAME: WE ARE COVERED VV. 7-9
C. CONFESSION IS ABOUT DISOBEDIENCE: WE HAVE NOT OBEYED VV. 10-14
D. CONFESSION IS ABOUT DOING WRONG: WE HAVE DONE WRONG VV. 15-16
ILLUSTRATION: Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German hung by Nazi’s at the age of 35) in his book life together has a chapter on confession – it is one of the most powerful discussions on biblical confession that I have ever read…. Bonhoeffer writes
Why is that it is often easier for us to confess our sins to God than to a brother? God is holy and sinless, He is a just judge of evil and the enemy of all disobedience. BUT a brother is sinful as we are. He knows from his own experience the dark night of secret sin. WHY should we not find it easier to go to a brother than to a Holy God?
BUT if we do find it easier, we must ask ourselves whether we have not often been deceiving ourselves with our confession of sin to God, WHETHER we have not rather been confessing our sins to ourselves and also granting ourselves absolution (forgiveness)
AND is not the reason perhaps FOR our countless relapses and the feebleness of our Christian obedience to be found precisely in the fact that we are living on self-forgiveness and not a real forgiveness? Self forgiveness can never lead to a breach with sin…
Contributed by: Steve Malone
TRUTH: CONFESSION IS A KEY ASPECT OF PRAYER!
QUESTION: ARE WE WILLING TO CONFESS??
III. PRAYING THROUGH THE WORD IS A MATTER OF GOD’S CHARACTER VV. 4-19
A. GOD’S CHARACTER IS WHO HE IS VV. 4, 7, 14
B. GOD’S CHARACTER IS HOW HE RESPONDS VV. 9, 11, 12, 13, 15,
C. GOD’S CHARACTER IS OUR HOPE VV. 16, 17, 18, 19
ILLUSTRATION: A preacher and an atheistic barber were once walking through the city slums. Said the barber to the preacher: "This is why I cannot believe in a God of love. If God was as kind and loving as you say, He would not permit all this poverty, disease, and squalor. He would not allow these poor bums to be addicted to dope and other character-destroying habits. No, I cannot believe in a God who permits these things."
The minister was silent until they met a man who was especially unkept and filthy. His hair was hanging down his neck and he had a half-inch of stubble on his face. Said the minister: "You can’t be a very good barber or you wouldn’t permit a man like that to continue living in this neighborhood without a haircut and a shave."
Indignantly the barber answered: "Why blame me for that man’s condition? I can’t help it that he is like that. He has never come in my shop. I could fix him up and make him look like a gentleman!"