The Word and Prayer

 I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the Lord, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes. (Daniel 9:2b-3 NLT)

Daniel was over eighty years old. He had spent his entire adult life in exile. What was he doing? He was reading his Bible. Whatever scrolls or fragments of God’s word that had made the trek to Babylon some 67 odd years before, Daniel was studying them. What does he learn from his meditation and study? In his case he learns that the time of exile, according to the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, is drawing toward a conclusion. How does he respond? He prays. Notice his position. He turns toward the Lord. Notice his petition. He pleads with God. He seeks the LORD. He intercedes for his people. Notice his posture. Fasting, burlap, and ashes. These items represented humility in his approach to the throne of the Most High. He comes with reverence. He kneels in worship. To whom else can he go?

We have the benefit of the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament bound and in multiple English translations. Do you read it? Do you meditate upon it? Do you need inspiration? Take a look at Psalm 119. We have a Savior through whose perfect merits we can approach the throne of grace with confidence and find mercy and grace in time of need. Have you kneeled in prayer lately? Further, those united to Christ by faith have the deposit of the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing our redemption. And lo and behold, He dwells within us, offering supplication with groans too deep for words. Have you plead with God lately?

Friend, Reformed and Evangelical Presbyterians like myself are not supposed to say what I am about to type. I dare anyone to rebuke me. Friend, by God’s grace, dare to be a Daniel.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, give me the motivation to read your word and the inspiration to pray fervently to you, even as Daniel did. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About Joseph V. (Josh) Carmichael

Board Certified Chaplain. Ordained Minister. Adjunct Professor. Writer. Husband to my dear wife. Father of six young men. (PhD, SBTS; MDiv, RTS; MBA, UA)
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