MP3: The Mighty Angels of Daniel 9
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
A Powerful Prayer Life
Vic Batista: In our study of God’s mighty angels found in the book of Daniel, we are now at chapter 9. Daniel is the Old Testament’s mini-book of Revelation.
Nathan Jones: That’s a great comparison! Daniel is indeed the book of Revelation in the Old Testament. Much of what’s foretold in Daniel will be fulfilled in Revelation. We can understand Revelation better by understanding Daniel.
I’ll provide a warning concerning the book of Daniel — it’s not an easy book to understand. As a matter of fact, Daniel himself had trouble understanding the prophesies given to him by God through the Angel Gabriel. The angel even told Daniel in chapter 12 concerning the visions he’d been given to seal them up, for he was not going to understand their true meanings until the end times.
I certainly believe that we are living in the end times, especially since we are starting to understand prophecy better as prophetic events are lining up. But, this clarity doesn’t mean that it makes Daniel any easier to understand. Fortunately, where Daniel didn’t understand what he was seeing, he was also given the interpretation so that we today can understand them better.
Vic Batista: As we study the book of Daniel, we are going to stick to what the Bible says. If the Bible is silent, then we will stay silent, and not try to make anything up.
Nathan Jones: That is the best way to approach interpreting the Bible. And we’re not going to spiritualize any passage either. If we cannot find the literal interpretive meaning defined in the text, then we are not going to jump off into a spiritual interpretation that in truth is just mere speculation.
Vic Batista: I also believe one of the ways we gain true biblical understanding is through prayer. The Holy Spirit reveals His meaning to us through diligent study and prayer.
Nathan Jones: I firmly believe in the power of prayer before starting a Bible study. The movie War Room made a powerfully compelling argument that we as Christians can become spiritually shallow due to a lacking in our prayer life. For Christians there is power in prayer! The Bible implores us to be very dedicated to praying to God.#Christians can become spiritually shallow due to a lacking in our #prayer life. Click To Tweet
Daniel 9 and the amazing prophesies that will flow out of this and the next three chapters begins with a prayer.
Vic Batista: Daniel 9:1-11 reads:
“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans. In the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, ‘O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.
O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him.'”
Nathan Jones: And now let’s pick up in verse 12 with the rest of Daniel’s prayer:
“‘And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.
As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice. And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day we have sinned, we have done wickedly!
O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.'”
Vic Batista: Daniel gets quite a shocking response to his powerful prayer of repentance in verses 20-22:
“Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, ‘O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand.'”
What a powerful prayer! Notice the type of prayer that Daniel was offering up. It wasn’t a half-hearted prayer all about himself, but it concerned a heartfelt confession about his and his people’s sins.
Nathan Jones: Daniel was very dedicated to prayer. He prayed three times a day. He’d go out onto his balcony and look towards Jerusalem. Daniel was, of course, then currently living in Babylon hundreds of miles away, but he faced towards Jerusalem as he prayed to the Lord. Daniel is an example of a well disciplined prayer life. Praying three times a day demonstrates commitment. How dedicated Daniel was to a healthy prayer life!
One aspect of prayer that most Christians I believe would have to admit they neglect is repentance. When I was a kid I was taught that P-R-A-Y could represent “Praise, Repentant, Act, and Yield.” If you keep those four components in your prayer life, you will be really good at praying. I’ll admit, even in my own personal prayer life the repentance part isn’t always there, but Daniel was repentant. Daniel was a man who was considered by God to be very humble, righteous, and holy; that is, as much as a human being could be. And yet, despite Daniel’s righteousness, even he begged God for forgiveness for his and his people’s sins.
Vic Batista: The Bible in Romans 3:23 even reveals the truth that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. These prophets of the Bible were incredible men and women, yet they were still sinful, fallen human beings.
Nathan Jones: Indeed! It is very important when we are praying for our nation that we remember that nobody is perfect. Each of us are part of the problem because we are sinful, fallen people.
And so, Daniel provides all of God’s faithful with a great example of how to pray for national repentance on behalf of the people of his own country. The Jewish people were living in exile at the time, spread out all over Babylon, and so they had a great need for God’s mercy to deliver them from exile. Daniel didn’t just ask for forgiveness for his brethren, but also for himself.
Repentance is vitally important to our own prayer life, for it puts us back on the right relationship with God. It reminds us that our own sin natures also contribute to our national decline, and because of that sorry state, we must seek God’s forgiveness.
In the twelfth segment of this series on the mighty angels of Daniel, we’ll examine more Daniel’s methods when praying.