Friday, November 7, 2014

Daniel's Prayer Chapter 9-Lesson 10

Remember that Daniel didn’t write a chronological account. The events recorded in Daniel 9 took place at about the same time as the Lion’s Den in chapter 6, and at least 12 years after he received his second vision of the Ram and the Goat in chapter 8.
The first portion of this chapter is important because it shows the importance of prayer in the fulfillment of prophecy. The second portion is controversial because it’s a point of sharp division among Christians—a division addressed briefly in your commentary.
But, despite the difference of opinion on prophecy timetables, one thing all Christians can agree on is that God responds to humble confessions.

Daniel’s Prayer Chapter 9   Lesson 10
• A prayer to fulfill a prophecy (9:1-19)
• A prophecy to fulfill a prayer (9:20-27)
God Hears the Prayers of the Humble
The first novel I read by Randy Alcorn was Safely Home. It is very realistic and probably describes the true situation in foreign countries involved in religious persecution. Randy Alcorn has long been a favorite Christian author; using his DVD and resources on Heaven, elderly clients at Abingdon Place were given a glimpse of what heaven was like. Randy has spiritual gift from God for interpreting scriptures and he is an excellent source for information on heaven and prayer. Just recently before finding these lessons on Prayer from Daniel 9-10, I have been reading Seeing the Unseen, a daily dose of Eternal Perspective.
This is unprecedented for me to rely so heavily on one resource for teaching time, but as I gathered scripture on prayer and prepared for this week I could not neglect Randy Alcorn’s verse by verse treatment of Daniel 9 and 10. These 14 lessons of Randy’s are listed on my blog spot and a link to his Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM). Julia who works for Randy messaged to say they are “so glad you're able to use his material and appreciate the citation and link. Feel free to use any and all of his articles.”
Ladies if you will open your Bible to Daniel 9 and follow along with me.
1.     Position yourself for prayer by reading Scripture first. v.2
“I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet,”  Daniel was reading the book of Jeremiah before he prayed.
Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Such an irony, CBS tell you to pray before you read and answer your questions and Randy suggests we read before praying. We need to know God’s divine will through His Word and to understand God’s perspective on our circumstances before we can know how to pray.
2. Follow Scripture’s lead toward what you should pray for. V.3
 “So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition…” (v. 3) Daniel knew who had the answers to Israel’s dilemma. From reading scripture from Jeremiah he knew the time of captivity was nearly over.
Romans 8:26 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.
James  4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
3. Pray humbly, recognizing your utter unworthiness before an all-holy God.
“…prayer and petition in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” (v. 3)
Daniel humbled himself before God with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. King David and King Hezekiah tore their clothes and covered themselves with sackcloth and ashes to petition the Lord. From the book of Esther, when Mordecai learned of the Haman plots against the Jews, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes outside the gates of the city.(for no one was allowed to enter the king's gate clothed in sackcloth.) After Jonah marched through the city of Nineveh calling, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” The king and the people of Nineveh believed and called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. In this way a pagan nation moved the heart of God and they were saved.
God Hears the Prayers of the Humble
4. Begin by praising God for His attributes, His greatness and faithfulness. Let God’s character provide the context for prayer, so He’s the center of gravity, not you.
“I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands…’“ (v. 4)
Psalm 115:3 “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.”
Start with the alphabet and name an attribute of God in your prayers of praise. Here is a monthly calendar to help you pray.
5. Confess your sins, taking full responsibility, without rationalization, spin or self-exemption.
“We have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have
turned away from your commands and laws.” (v. 5-6)
God knows our hearts; we cannot hide anything from Him. Why is this left out of our corporate prayers? We need to pray with a clean, repentant heart to approach the throne of God.
Psalm 51 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
6. Permeate prayer with affirmations of God’s amazing grace and your profound gratitude.
“Lord, you are righteous….The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled; we have not obeyed…All Israel has transgressed your Law and turned away, refusing to obey you.” (v. 7-11a)
2 Corinthians 4:15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
God Hears the Prayers of the Humble
7. Before bringing your requests, repeatedly affirm God’s worthiness and your unworthiness—never forget who you are, and Who you’re talking to. (v. 11b-12a)
“, because we have sinned against you …just as it is written in the law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us.”
Job 1:21 “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Psalm 18:3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised
Psalm 103:10  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
Matthew 8:8 But the centurion replied, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.
8. Never blame God for sin, its consequences or for life’s hardships.
“we have not sought the favor of the LORD by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. The LORD the LORD is righteous in everything; yet we have not obeyed him.” (v. 12b-14) 
Job 40:2“Shall a fault finder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.”
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalms 66:18 - If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear [me]:
2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
SLIDE 12    9. Make requests in light of God’s past acts of faithfulness. “Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned and done wrong. O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem…” (v. 15-16)
Deuteronomy 32:4 “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.
Psalm 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.
Psalm 145:17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.
Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Think back to all the times when God has provided for you when times were lean. How many times have you been saved from a near miss in traffic? Through it all God is faithful to heal broken hearts and broken dreams.
10. Pray for God’s sake, His glory, and His reputation, reminding yourself it’s all about Him, not you. (v. 17-19)
“Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”
God is creator of the universe. We should choose to honor and glorify him in all we do.
Deuteronomy 5:24"You said, 'Behold, the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire;
Psalms 24:7-8 Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.
Matthew 6:13 For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
11. Pray with a heartfelt recognition of God’s undeserved grace on behalf of you and others. “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.” (v.18)
Psalm 8: When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained, what is man that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that Thou dost visit him?For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.
Psalm 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 10:17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
12. God hears our prayers and starts responding to them (when we pray with Daniel’s attitude and perspective) before we can see results, and even when we can’t see results at all.
“While I was still in prayer Gabriel the man came to me in swift flight. “I have come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given…which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.” (v. 21-23)
Isaiah 65:24 "And it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." 
Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
13. God deploys angels on missions in response to humble, biblically-based, God-centered prayers.
“I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks…I looked and there was a man…”I have been sent to you”…Then he continued, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.’“ (10:12)
Psalm 31:7   I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul,
Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.
Psalm 91:11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
14. Prayer mobilizes righteous angels, who engage in intense turf warfare against fallen angels, with kingdom claims at stake. Answers to prayer may be hastened or delayed as a result of this warfare.
1 Samuel 12:22 For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.
Psalm 104:4 Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.
Matthew 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
Matthew 24:31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses,
Revelation 12:7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back,
Sisters these last verses of this chapter are so complex in terms of numbers and dates that a timeline may help our understanding.
Ladies if you will open your Bible to Daniel 9:24-27, you can follow along as we go through the scripture.
Imagine the archangel Gabriel coming to tell you:  “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.”  That might soften the telling of the Seventy Weeks.
There are charts and books and commentaries and they just made my head hurt. I gleaned some information I hope will simplify this for you. Any students of Daniel or Revelation feel free to send me any resources or note. But I will present the Futurist View taught by Beth Moore and others.
24"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.
25Know 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.
 26And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one (Jesus the Messiah) shall be cut off and shall have nothing. (on earth CRUCIFIXTION)
Four different scriptures and three different rulers could fit this prophesy but the last one is the
         Cyrus 538 B.C. (Ezra in 1:1-4 and 5:13-17)
         Darius 517 B.C. (Ezra 6:6-12)
         Artaxerxes 458 B.C. (Ezra 7:11-26)
         Artaxerxes 445B.C. (Nehemiah 2:1-8) 
From your commentary: Then Gabriel says, “… after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing.” This is the big point of contention between “futurists,” “preterists,” and “historicists.” Futurists believe a time gap is implied between this 69th week when the Anointed One (Jesus) was “cut off” and the 70th week, and that we’re in that gap; we know it as “the church age.” The 70th week will begin when the church age ends (with the Rapture). Although the word rapture is not in the KJV, scripture says we will be caught up. 1 Thessalonians 4:17

26 And the people of the prince who is to come (ANTICHRIST)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.
27And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week (3 ½ YEARS) 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."
Humility recognizes that God is the source of all power and all authority and that as we come before Him, in holy fear of the Lord, then we are putting ourselves in the place where our ears can be open to hear His voice in response to our prayers and intercessions.
God responds to our humble confessions. He responds in grace; He gives second chances. He heals relationships. He mends hearts.
Closing Sentence: Will you choose to humbly confess your sins to Him—and repent of those sins?
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the example of Daniel and for his humble submission to your authority. Help me, Lord, to walk in a similar way in my own life, recognizing that pride is a barrier to effective prayer and that humility opens the doors of the heavens to those who know and love the Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.