In his later years, the prophet Daniel searched the scriptures to continue to gain a deeper understanding of the Lord’s nature, works, and ways. In the book of Deuteronomy, Daniel found the reasons for the exile of his people to Babylon and the destruction of their temple in Jerusalem. In the writings of Jeremiah, he discovered that their exile would last for a period of seventy years.
Daniel saw that the Lord had given to Moses a list of many blessings He would shower them with if only the people would stay faithful to Him. But God also gave a list of consequences if they were to stubbornly reject Him to persistently worship other gods and idols instead. One of the more serious consequences on the list was defeat by an enemy and exile, only to be imposed after every other loving attempt had failed to turn their hearts back to Him.
36 “Adonai will bring you and the king you set over you to a nation you and your fathers have not known—and there you will serve other gods, wood and stone. 37 You will become a horror, a proverb, and a byword—among all the peoples where Adonai will drive you. Deuteronomy 28:36 (TLV)
This was certainly the case with Judah, who for decades had been held captive in Babylon. But the Lord also provided a remedy for His people who had put themselves in this desperate situation and now desired to return to Him.
1 “Now when all these things come upon you—the blessing and the curse that I have set before you—and you take them to heart in all the nations where Adonai your God has banished you, 2 and you return to Adonai your God and listen to His voice according to all that I am commanding you today—you and your children—with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 then Adonai your God will bring you back from captivity and have compassion on you, and He will return and gather you from all the peoples where Adonai your God has scattered you. Deuteronomy 30:1-3 (TLV)
With God’s Spirit giving insight into these promises, Daniel understood the power of praying in agreement with God’s word in order to bring His good will to fruition. God hears and answers all of our prayers, but there is a special anointing when praying in alignment with the word of God, which was given to us in accordance with His nature and will.
Doing this, Daniel earnestly sought the Lord, confessing his sins and the sins that the people had committed against the Almighty by turning completely away from Him to worship other gods and idols in their lives.
16 Lord, in keeping with all Your righteous acts, let Your anger and Your fury turn away, please, from Jerusalem, Your city, Your holy mountain. Because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become an object of scorn to all those around us.
17 ‘So now, our God, listen to the prayers and petitions of Your servant, and cause Your face to shine upon Your devastated Sanctuary, for the sake of my Lord. 18 Give ear, my God, and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolation and the city called by Your name. We do not present our supplications before You because of our own righteousness, but because of Your great compassions. 19 Lord, hear! Lord, forgive! Lord, listen and act! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay! For Your city and Your people are called by Your name.’ Daniel 9:16-19 (TLV)
Daniel pleaded with the Lord for His permission to return the people home from exile to rebuild their temple and city and to worship Him there. He did not have to wait long for the Lord’s reply.
20 “While I was still speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before Adonai my God on behalf of the holy mountain of my God— 21 yes, while I was praying, Gabriel, the one I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me swiftly about the time of the evening offering.
22 “He instructed me and said to me: ‘Daniel, I have come now to give you insight and understanding. Daniel 9:20-22 (TLV)
Daniel had not even finished praying when the angel Gabriel appeared before him to confirm the importance to God of Daniel’s prayer. This prayer would not only set in motion the events needed to end the Babylonian Captivity, but Gabriel would also present Daniel with a startlingly accurate prophecy regarding the timetable for the coming of a very important person – the Messiah, who will become King of the fifth and final kingdom, the Kingdom of God. This person, Jesus Christ, will arrive in Judah right on time, as specified by the prophecy.
Have you ever tried praying along with a selection of God’s word from the Bible? When we partner with God in agreement with His word, it unleashes a special divine power.
Here is an example we can try. In the following prayer from a section of scripture, substitute the name of someone you love wherever you see the underlined word “you”.
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might. Ephesians 1:17-19 (ESV)
We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen!