We are taking a break for the summer until futher notice.

(Thursday, 11-15-07) Prayer 34 - Daniel's Prayer of Confession

Read First:
Daniel 9:4-19

Hear It! Daniel 9

Daniel had been taken into Babylonian captivity in about 606 B.C.
He distinguished himself in many ways, but none more so than his faithfulness to God throughout his lifetime. In his youth, he stood firmly in his faith, and on many occasions, he refused to bow to the pressures of his times, opting instead to follow God’s will.

Now, as an old man (prob. In his 80’s or more) he had seen a new world power arise. He turned to study the scriptures and discovered the time of Israel’s captivity (70 years), from Jeremiah’s prophecy. He knew the time for Israel’s return was near, so he had great concern for his people. Thus his prayer here.

What Can We Learn?
1. It is important that Daniel’s prayer was motivated by a study of scripture.
2. Daniel’s prayer was accompanied by fasting, and wearing sackcloth and ashes, symbols of grief and mourning.
3. Daniel’s study reminded him, not just of Israel’s return to the Promised Land, but the reason they were taken from it to start with.
4. Daniel made repeated use of the pronouns “I, we and our.” (40+ times) in this prayer. His prayer was intensely personal; humble and confessional.
5. Daniel’s confession of sin is specific with regard to the kinds of sins of which he and his people were guilty.
6. Daniel makes a clear contrast between the goodness and righteousness of God and the sinfulness of the people.
7. Daniel remembered God’s deliverance in times past, and calls upon God to do the same again.
8. His climactic plea is for God to save Israel for his own name’s sake.

Questions to Ponder
1. Have you ever experienced an intense desire to pray following a particular study of something in the Bible? If so, share it with the class.
2. Fasting is frequently mentioned in connection with prayer. Though no verse in the Bible demands that we fast, it seems that fasting was assumed to be something we would practice. Why do you think modern Christians seldom fast, and how do you think we could encourage the practice?
3. How important do you think it is that we confess both our personal sins and that of our nation?
4. What “kind” of sins would you list if making confession for our nation?
5. How would you contrast God with the church today?
6. In what ways would God glorify himself today by showing mercy and forgiveness to us? Is his salvation still performed for his own name’s sake? Discuss how this might be true .

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