What do you do when you and your nation are in serious trouble? When you are in bondage and there seems no way of escape? When you are surrounded by wickedness and evil? When the people of God are in the minority? And, when God’s children themselves are unresponsive, sinful, and unrevived?
Nehemiah, David, Daniel ... go right down the list and you will find their first response was prayer. And their prayers are similar, giving us a model for how we would pray.
FASTING AND PRAYING
Daniel fasted and prayed for 21 days, recorded in Daniel, Chapter 9-10. He read his Bible, which stirred and convicted him and prompted him to pray (9:2). His prayer was a prayer of confession of his sin and the sins of the people and a cry for mercy.
Read Daniel 9:4-19 and then read Nehemiah, Chapter 1 and you will see that these are almost identical prayers. And God heard and answered both.
And, it was not a momentary prayer. “I went on praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people, pleading with the Lord my God for Jerusalem, his holy mountain,” Daniel said (9:20). It was a continual intercession flowing from a burdened heart.
GOD HEARS PRAYER
"The moment you began praying, a command was given," said Gabriel when he came to speak to Daniel (9:22). God send a messenger to tell Daniel that he was precious to God (repeated 3 times) and that God had heard his prayers and--at a time in the future--was going to redeem Israel and send the Messiah.
After Daniel prayed God...
- revealed His will, giving Daniel everything he needed to know about everything that was ahead
- encouraged and strengthened Daniel's heart
- gave him insight and understanding to lead others
Amazing things happen when you pray...and only when you pray. The man who will not give himself to prayer, of course, will not be able to see what Daniel saw nor lead in the way Daniel led. They will not have heard from heaven.
So, what should we be doing right now? The same as Daniel, Nehemiah, David and all the great saints who have gone before us.
We must pray. We must confess our sins and the sins of the people.
And we must never, never give up.