Day 16

Daniel’s Prayer

from the Daniel reading plan

Daniel 9:1-27, 1 Kings 9:6-9, Ephesians 2:1-5

BY Rebecca Faires

In Shakespeare’s history play, Richard II, John of Gaunt mourns England’s degradation on his deathbed, intoning, “That England, that was wont to conquer others, Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.” The greatness of England was fading away because of its internal corruption. And this is the truth of all civilizations. They do not fall because of external attack, but they collapse from the corruption and rot festering on the inside.

Repeatedly in Scripture, we also see the children of Israel making a shameful conquest of themselves. There will always be some battle raging, but it’s not a fight against governments and revolutions; the battle is spiritual. The battle is for and in our own hearts. In the New Testament, the apostle Paul arms himself with powerful weapons, urging us to: “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

Centuries before Paul, Daniel relies on the same principle. The fulfillment of God’s promise to restore the conquered city of Jerusalem and its exiled people was at hand, and Daniel recognized that this providential showering of grace was an opportunity to fix all his hope on God. Israel had fallen to conquest precisely because it had walked in pride and unrepentance. It had rotted from the inside. 

Daniel’s prayer is not about self-reliance, or newfound worthiness to return to their homeland. He recognizes that righteousness belongs to God alone (Daniel 9:7). His grace alone, His provision alone is sufficient. He alone can root out the inward-rottenness and make us a new creation, a new nation, and a royal priesthood for Himself.

Daniel prayed: “We are not presenting our petitions before you based on our righteous acts, but based on your abundant compassion. Lord, hear! Lord, forgive! Lord, listen and act! My God, for your own sake, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your name” (Daniel 9:18–19).

Like Daniel, our focus must be on our continual need of God’s provision. He must lay conquest to our hearts, that we may not be given over to self-destruction. He alone is righteous and able to save (Daniel 9:7). And, like Daniel, we have this great comfort: He does save. He hears the cries of His people, and restores the inheritance of His saints. He does not leave us as orphans and exiles (John 14:18), but in His own righteousness, He mightily saves.

The restoration of Jerusalem was a foreshadowing of the restoration of Christ, who has made a glorious conquest of the human heart. He has conquered our hearts, and become our confidence, hope, joy, and strength are founded upon the unchanging and transforming righteousness of God.

Post Comments (29)

29 thoughts on "Daniel’s Prayer"

  1. Taylor says:

    I loved this reading so much. I am SO in need of God’s grace and mercy every single day. I want nothing more than for the Lord to “lay conquest” to my heart so I am not given over to self-destruction. Thankful that the Lord’s righteousness is unchanging and transforming. God I pray you would root out my inward rottenness and make a new creation. Be my provision and sufficiency each and every day. Thank you for meeting me in my mess <3

  2. Gail F says:

    He alone is righteous and able to save. In Jesus name I pray.

  3. L V says:

    I love the line about them not asking for help because of being worthy but because of God’s great mercy. It’s a reminder we don’t have to try to get it all together to earn God’s help or love. He comes to us in our mess. We can’t earn something he gives as a gift. He gives his mercy, we cannot earn it. It’s a relief that we don’t have to try to be perfect! Which we cannot be! Have I said earn enough times? Lol

    1. Sinead B says:

      Yes! So good ❤️

  4. Patricia Broadway says:

    I am so thankful that I believe in God who keeps His word and forgives us when we go into not taking our spiritual battle to heart. Righteousness belongs to the Lord!!!!

  5. Laura Beckom says:

    Another great podcast this week. Very timely reading today. I hope all of us are praying daily for our nation and the people of this country. We all need Jesus.

  6. Dorothy says:

    Finally getting caught up with my reading. I want to thank all you that prayed for my family and myself. My sister and nephew are doing much better. My sister is “on the wagon” and my nephew is getting help thanks to the assistance of my brothers. I have been blessed with a loving and helpful family. I’m mending nicely. I would like to ask for prayer for the little girl I care for, Finley, and her family. She is due to have surgery on Thursday for release of some of the leg tendons and muscles, I believe, it has to do with her Spina Bifida.
    The book of Daniel is teaching me much about God and how we sometimes must be patient to find out why things happen. I have also been able to learn that God forgives no matter the circumstances.
    Sisters in Christ you are a blessing to me. I pray for all of you each and everyday.

  7. Linda Buckingham says:

    This really spoke to me, for I have been wanting to pray for the church, believers in our nation but just feeling that I alone can’t make a difference, wanting to pray that many would come to Christ when they see us but we have such long way to go, including myself. I was praying ealier today for our eyes to be opened to Christ. Including myself. This is truly encouraging God wants to show us his son and how he will be victorious and is and how willing God is to help his people return. So encouraged!

    1. Laura Beckom says:

      Linda you will not be praying alone there are others out there praying join us.

  8. Grace Sharp says:

    You are greatly loved.

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