Faithlife Sermons

The Prayer of Repentance

Prayers of the Bible  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Daniel leads in confession, seeking God's mercy

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Daniel’s prayer of Repentance was in response to the Word of God ()

Explanation: Daniel was reading a scroll written to the exiles by the prophet Jeremiah. In the letter, Jeremiah Informed the exiles the captivity would last 70 years, and then God would allow them to return home to Jerusalem. The length of the exile was tied to the number of Sabbaths that the people had violated over a 490 year period.
Daniel, recognizing that the exile was drawing to a close, felt compelled to pray and record this prayer of repentance. He understood that the people of God needed to abase themselves before the holiness of God in preparation, not to start planning parades and victory speeches.
Argument: Daniel had a teachable spirit, and was always about the Lord’s business. At this point in the Exile, Daniel was an old man of around 87. Instead of sitting in a rocker and playing shuffelboard, Daniel was still being used of God. He had a desire to be in the Word and God used that availability and desire.
Application: Chapter one makes two very interesting observations concerning Daniel. Verse 8 states that “Daniel resolved” to live for God, and verse 21 concludes that “Daniel continued until...”
As Daniel was used of God, so too can we be used of God
Immerse yourself in the study of the Word ( “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”)

Daniel’s prayer of repentance was passionate and honest ()

Explanation: Daniel began to fast and pray upon reading this exciting truth. This knowledge brought a change to Daniel. He put on sackcloth and covered himself with ashes. He was not concerned about personal appearance or appearing dignified. Daniel knew this was serious business and he responded appropriately.
Daniel turned to the LORD, not to his fellow exiles. He spoke to God before he spoke to his brethren.
Daniel’s prayer was honest. He was very clear about where the fault lay. Daniel’s confession was clear, and he did not make excuses. Note the language in v. 5 -6a
We have sinned
We have done wrong
We have acted wickedly & rebelled
We have turned aside from your commandments & rules
We have not listened to your prophets
Example: Perry Noble, pastor of New Spring Fellowship
However, in my obsession to do everything possible to reach 100,000 and beyond – it has come at a personal cost in my own life and created a strain on my marriage. In my opinion, the bible does not prohibit the use of alcohol, but it does prohibit drunkenness and intoxication. I never had a problem drinking alcohol socially, but in the past year or so I have allowed myself to slide into, in my opinion, the overuse of alcohol. This was a spiritual and moral mistake on my part as I began to depend on alcohol for my refuge instead of Jesus and others. I have no excuse – this was wrong, sinful and I am truly sorry. For those who are disappointed in me – let me assure you no one is more disappointed in me than myself. I realize that I cannot continue to do effective ministry if this issue in my personal life is not adequately addressed.
Argument: This is not about slandering a fellow pastor/believer; it is an observation on how we make “confession” in the modern age. The elders of the church attempted to work with him over a period of time, but he refused to admit he had a problem. When he was dismissed, he then made a statement. Notice how he slides around the issue of social drinking.
Proverbs 28:13 ESV
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
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Application: We need to get honest with God; He already knows anyway!
We should be willing to get personal. Note that Daniel did not separate himself from the sins of the people. He uses the pronoun “we,” not “them.”
Confession is agreeing with God about a particular issue. If God names something a sin, then our confession is agreeing it is sin instead of moral equivocation.
Repentance is a change of mind. It is a turning away from the sin and turning towards the holiness of God at the same time.

Daniel’s Prayer of Repentance was focused on the mercy of God. (,, , 16-19)

Explanation: Daniel knows that apart from God’s mercy, the people are forfeit. When Daniel asks for God to intervene on the behalf of the people, he bases a favorable response on the Righteousness and Holiness of God. Daniel asks God to do it on the basis of His great name, not on the undeserving nature of the people.
Argument: Daniel’s prayer is not about self-promotion or vainglory. He is concerned for the Name and reputation of the God he serves. His prayer is focused on a kingdom agenda - his desire is for God to pardon and forgive the people and then use them to restore Jerusalem.
Daniel knows that the steadfast love of God and His great mercy are the only hope for Israel. And the truth be known, the same goes for us. Apart from the mercy of God, we are in big trouble.
Lamentations 3:22–24 ESV
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:2
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