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Daniel Chapter 9: Courage Commitment & Charchter in a Corrupt Culture

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To Be A Christian without prayer Is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. ~ Martin Luther
Now, Daniel, 80 plus, been in the land 65 to 67 or 68 years, is doing what every man of God does reading the Word of God.
So does Daniel pray. And as he prays, we find eight elements of true intercessory prayer emerging, flowing out of this marvelous prayer. And as I say, they are not explicitly taught. They are implicitly found. They are not the purpose of the prayer, and yet they become, for us, a very good purpose, because it helps us to see what is included in proper intercessory prayer. Now, frankly, folks … we have two basic problems when it comes to prayer. Number one, we don’t do it enough. True? And so the Bible, again and again and again, says continue in prayer. Pray without ceasing.He was a man beyond eighty years of age, and he knew that when God made a prophesy, God’s prophecies came to pass. And so he knew that Jeremiah said it would be seventy years. And when he read that in Jeremiah and knew that, at least in his case, sixty-seven had already gone by, he knew the time was imminent. You might think, at that point, as we said last time, that Daniel wouldn’t have anything to pray about. He’d just sorta throw it on the sovereignty of God and say, “All right, God, You’re gonna do it in seventy years, then do it,” and leave it at that.
But Daniel knew that somehow fitting into the sovereignty of God is the choice of man. It’s like salvation. The Bible says that God has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world. The Bible tells us that we are elect according to His foreknowledge and predestined to be redeemed. The Bible tells us that God knows them that are His. The Bible tells us that God said, “I have much people in that city that I want you to reach,” affirming that He knew who they were. In other words, God has chosen us. And, yet, our salvation is also dependent on the fact that we make a choice, isn’t it?
Daniel knew that God’s sovereignty would come to pass, but not without the response of human choice. And so in view of God’s sovereignty, knowing that there must be a human acceptance, a writing of the heart for God to end the chastening, he begins to pray. Not unlike the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation who, hearing the Word of God, “Behold, I come quickly … he says … even so, come Lord Jesus.” He lines his prayers up with what he knows God will do. And I guess you might say that that’s the character of every single amen in the Bible. For amen means so let it be. And when we say to God, “Bring it to pass. Let it be,” we are simply affirming that God’s will will be done and realizing that man must line his heart with God to know the fullness of that accomplished purpose.
Prayer, then, is necessary, even though God is sovereign and absolute and will do His will. And, by the way, there have been times when God extended things. And there have been times when God’s shortened things. And so in connection with His sovereignty, we cannot box Him in. He may shorten things. He may lengthen things. And so Daniel sets about to pray, knowing that somehow the rightness of the human heart has to fit into the sovereign act of God …
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.d
Daniel 6:10 ESV
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.
Daniel 9:1 ESV
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans—
Daniel 9:2 NASB95
in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
Genuine Prayer is a Response to the Word
Jeremiah 25:11 ESV
This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
Jeremiah 25:12 ESV
Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the Lord, making the land an everlasting waste.
Jer 25:
Jeremiah 29:10 ESV
“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Daniel’s prayer was born out of an understanding of the Word of God.
It is most important to study the Word of God, and prayer follows that.
dDaniel’s prayer was born out of an understanding of the Word of God. That’s why I’ve said so many times that it is most important to study the Word of God, and prayer follows that. Because, unless we understand the word of God, we do not understand the purposes and the plans of God in order to govern and guide our prayers. It was when Daniel saw the plan that he began the prayer. It was when Daniel perceived what God had in mind that he began to commune with God …
Because, unless we understand the word of God, we do not understand the purposes and the plans of God in order to govern and guide our prayers.
It was when Daniel saw the plan that he began the prayer. It was when Daniel perceived what God had in mind that he began to commune with God
We go to God primarily as a response to His Word acting on our hearts. And I shared with you that I know this from my own personal experience. That the times of my most faithful prayer are the times that I am receiving the Word of God.
“Watch unto prayer. Watch unto prayer.” Jesus said it repeatedly. Peter says it. “Watch unto prayer.” And what they’re talking about there, basically, is look at what’s happening. Perceive what’s going on. Keep your eyes open. Be specific about what you’re praying.
Now listen to me. The only way you can watch and know what to pray for is when you know what the Word of God says about what you’re seeing, see. You must perceive the world and its events. The church and its events. The people of Israel and their events. You must be able to see what’s going on in the light of the Word of God, or you do not understand God’s purposes in history, and you cannot pray intelligently. And so we watch, not only the scene around us, but we watch the Word of God to determine how carefully and properly we are to pray.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Psalm 119:24 ESV
Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 9:2 ESV
in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
Genuine Prayer is generated by the Word and Grounded in God’s Will
Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance but cooperating with His willingness.
Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance but cooperating with His willingness.
—Richard C. Trench
Romans 8:26 ESV
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Daniel 9:3 ESV
Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
Genuine Prayer is Identified by fervency
Brooks said, years ago, “As a painted fire is no fire, a dead man is no man, so cold prayer is no prayer. In a painted fire, there is no heat. In a dead man, there is no life. In a cold prayer, there is no omnipotency, no devotion, and no blessing. Cold prayers are as arrows without heads, swords without edges, birds without wings. They pierce not. They cut not. They fly not up to heaven. Cold prayers do always freeze before they get to heaven. O, that Christians would chide themselves out of their cold prayers, and chide themselves into a better and warmer frame of spirit when they make their supplications to the Lord.”
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Luke 11:5 ESV
And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves,
Luke 11:6 ESV
for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;
Luke 11:7 ESV
and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’?
Luke 11:8 ESV
I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
Luke 11:9 ESV
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan
Trouble and perplexity drive me to prayer, and prayer drives away perplexity and trouble.
—Philipp Melancthon
Satan may build a wall about us, but he can’t put a roof over us to keep us from praying to God.
—J. Hudson Taylor
Zuck, R. B. (1997). The speaker’s quote book: over 4,500 illustrations and quotations for all occasions (p. 304). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.
Zuck, R. B. (1997). The speaker’s quote book: over 4,500 illustrations and quotations for all occasions (p. 304). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.
Luke 11:
Dan
Daniel 9:4 ESV
I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
Genuine prayer is Selfless
The heart of all true prayer, mark this, people, the heart of all true prayer is an initial awareness that you don’t even belong there to begin with. You see? I mean you don’t even belong in the presence of God. You don’t have one thing in and of yourself to commend you to Him.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 9:5 ESV
we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.
He says Four things
Sinned: Missed the Mark, wander from the path
Done Wrong: Distorted and and perversely
Acted wickedly: done something wrong that you know is wrong premeditated evil
Rebelled: defy Authority
Daniel 9:6 ESV
We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
Daniel 9:7 ESV
To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you.
Daniel 9:8 ESV
To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.
Dan
Daniel 9:9 ESV
To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him
Daniel 9:10 ESV
and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
Daniel 9:11 ESV
All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him.
DAn 9
Daniel 9:12 ESV
He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem.
Daniel 9:13 ESV
As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth.
Daniel 9:14 ESV
Therefore the Lord has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice.
Daniel 9:15 ESV
And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
Daniel 9:16 ESV
“O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us.
Genuine Prayer isn't Superficial but it is Specific
Sin will keep prayer away, or else prayer will keep sin away.
The secret of intercession. You wanna know it in one word? That in your prayers, you say we … we, not I.
So that your prayer, watch this, is not so selfish as to be directed toward you, no matter how it affects anybody else. But that you’re really praying on behalf of what is best for the whole body of Christ. We.
A farmer went with his son to a wheat field. He wanted to see if it was ready for the harvest. “See, father,” said the boy, “see how straight the stems hold up their heads? The ones that hold their heads up so straight, they must be the … the best ones. Those that are bent over and hung down, they can’t be good for much.” The farmer plucked a stalk of each kind and said, “Look, foolish child, the reason they stand so straight is because the grain is so small. The bent ones are the good ones. The straight ones are well nigh useless.”
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 9:17 ESV
Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate.
DAn 9:
Daniel 9:18 ESV
O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.
Daniel 9:19 ESV
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”
Genuine Prayer expects God to move
Daniel 9:20 ESV
While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the Lord my God for the holy hill of my God,
Daniel 9:21 ESV
while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice.
Daniel 9:22 ESV
He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding.
Genuine prayer gives us insight and understanding
Dan 9:
Daniel 9:23 ESV
At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.
Daniel 9:24 ESV
“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.
Daniel 9:25 ESV
Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.
Daniel 9:26 ESV
And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
DAn
Daniel 9:27 ESV
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
The children of Israel have been in the Babylonian captivity for 68 or 69 years. God had predicted that they would be for 70 years captives. Daniel, who has been a key man during the captivity, is well aware of the statements of Jeremiah the prophet, well aware of the statements of Isaiah the prophet which statements indicate a 70-year captivity. So he knows that the end of that captivity must be very near. With that knowledge, in 9:3, he falls on his knees and begins to pray. And what he is praying is simply that God will do what He said He would do and bring conviction and repentance and restoration and bring his people back to their land.
He’s already lived through the time of the Babylonian Empire and the Medo Persians have conquered Babylon and this is in the first year of the Medo-Persian Empire under Darius. Daniel prays.
Five Takeaways
Pray the promises of God
Set aside quality time to pray
Ignore all Distractions
Pray not to impress
In prayer, it is better to have a heart without words than words without heart.
In prayer, it is better to have a heart without words than words without heart.
—John Bunyan
Zuck, R. B. (1997). The speaker’s quote book: over 4,500 illustrations and quotations for all occasions (p. 296). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.
Pray in Jesus Name
Nothing Happens until we Pray
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