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THE FOUNDATION OF OUR PRAYER LIFE
1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans-- 2 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. 3 THEN I TURNED MY FACE TO THE LORD GOD, SEEKING HIM BY PRAYER and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4 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, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. 6 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.
The passage above sets the context for Daniel’s prayer which leads to revelation of “The Seventy Weeks.” It’s important to really think about what we are being told about Daniel’s mindset. There are three things that should jump out at us: first Daniel, read and studied GOD’s word; he was a serious student of the scriptures; and by that I mean HE ACTUALLY THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT HE WAS READING. Not only did Daniel think about what the scriptures said, but he also thought about them in light of the events and times he was living in. Second, Daniel’s study of the scriptures and his perception of what they meant in the context of what was going on in his life, drove his prayer life; he TALKED to GOD about what he perceived from the scriptures about Israel’s current situation. Finally, Daniel realized and admitted to GOD, that his study of the scriptures made it absolutely clear to him, that nobody, and I mean nobody had listened to GOD; nobody had paid attention to what GOD had told them about what would happen, if they rebelled AND DELIBERATED DECIDED TO NOT TRUST THE LORD.
So what should we take away from this? Well, if it was crucial for Daniel to study GOD’s word and give serious thought as to how it related to his life, shouldn’t we be doing the same thing. We also need to realize that knowing and studying GOD’s word must drive our prayer-life. How does our faith or trust in the LORD grow, if we don’t know what He has said, in order to relate His word to our lives. Here’s a serious proposition to think about: if we are to become fervent about what GOD is fervent about, we need to know what is important to Him. I don’t think that happens by contemplating one’s belly button. The scriptures are clear—we are to meditate on His Word continually. Last—we must pay attention to what He is telling us; we must listen.