Praying Like you Mean it (Daniel 9)

17 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,[b] make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate. Daniel 9:17

I know I am not supposed to judge according to Matthew 7:1, so I will speak in generalities.  It seems to me that not everyone who prays really is talking with God.  When it comes to prayers offered, I place them in the following categories:

  • Business meeting prayers:  The person praying seems to be conducting a prayer according to Robert’s Rules of order.
  • Form letter prayers:  This person prays the same way every day. They have certain prayers for every occasion.
  • Meal prayers:  A.K.A. lets get to the food.
  • Real prayers (Daniel’s prayer in this chapter falls here).

Daniel’s life (according to Scripture) is filled with real prayers.  His life models I Thess. 5:18 “pray without ceasing.”  In every circumstance he came before God.

In Chapter 9 Daniel has completed his studies in the prophecies of Jeremiah.  He has concluded that the time of his nations captivity was coming to an end.  He also realizes his nation still has not repented.

Questions are flowing through his mind:  Would God extend the period of judgment?  Would the people repent?  What did the future hold?

Daniel comes with a real prayer.  His prayer was filled with passion, humility, sorrow, pleadings, mournings, confession, repentance, and pleas for mercy!

Question:  Does your prayer life look like Daniel’s?

What would happen if the church prayed like Daniel?

  • God would hear.
  • God would forgive.
  • God would act on our behalf.

Brothers and sisters, in Matthew 6 Jesus expands our understanding in this discussion of prayer:

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.[a]
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,[b]
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,[c]
12 and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.[d]

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Here are 4 guidelines for real praying:

  1. Set aside daily one-on-one time with God, Vs: 5-6.
  2. Be genuine with God as you pray, Vs: 7-8.
  3. Follow God pattern for prayer, Vs: 9-13.
  4. End every day clean with God and with your fellow man, Vs: 14-15.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: