Daniel’s Prayer For Revival Changed The History Of A Nation
In Daniel’s prayer and confession he says, “I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments;
“We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants the prophets.... To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses...
“O Lord, according to all Thy righteousness, I beseech Thee, let Thine anger and Thy fury be turned away...O our God, hear the prayer of Thy servant, and his supplications, and cause Thy face to shine upon Thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.
“O my God, incline Thine ear, and hear; open Thine eyes, and behold our desolations...for we do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousnesses, but for Thy great mercies.
“O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for Thine own sake, O my God: for Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name” (Dan. 9:3-19).
As we seek the spiritual renewal of the church of God throughout the world, we will do well to follow the general lines of Daniel’s effectual prayer for revival. In this model prayer, we find seven essentials of revival prayer:
• Daniel based his prayer for revival on the Word of God. He understood “by books” that the time for God’s favor had arrived. We, too, must order our intercession for the revival of the church “according to the Scriptures.” The holy prayers of Christ and Paul guide us in praying for the church’s spiritual welfare. Evangelical prayers found in the Epistles, and the Lord’s seven messages to the seven churches in the Revelation furnish our “Thus saith the Lord” for revival prayers. Pray according to the Word of God and you will pray effectually.
• Daniel’s prayer for revival was full of confession of sin. He said: “We have sinned...have done wickedly...departing from Thy precepts...neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants.” Similar confessions should be made, as, with contrition, we pray for the church and the nation.
Contrition is the very spirit of revival. With a humble and a broken spirit acknowledge transgressions and sins as you pray for the church and the nation.
• Daniel presented his prayer to God in humility and sackcloth. Lowliness of mind befits prayer for God’s favor to His people. The soul can be hung with sackcloth as well as the body. The greater guilt in their sinning gives reason for the greater humiliation in intercession. Revival prayer should be humble prayer.
• Daniel’s prayer for revival was an urgent plea for Divine mercy. Divine justice excludes hopes of salvation or revival. Upon the basis of God’s mercy alone our hopes can be realized. Today God’s people need God’s mercy. “His mercy endureth for ever” (Psa. 136).
• Daniel’s prayer laid great stress on the righteousness of God. The Law cannot justify. Christ, who fulfilled the Law, is our righteousness and is our only hope of spiritual recovery. He who gives chastisement “is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love” (Heb. 6:10). God’s justice is our anchorage in prayer. His justice and truth make it divinely possible for us to come boldly to the throne of grace, and obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16).
• Daniel’s prayer presses on God the urgent need of revival. Israel had become a “reproach” and the house of God was “desolate.” When the general need for God’s forgiveness is overwhelming, and we plead in prayer for the Lord’s sake, the church’s sake, and His people’s sake, and for a world for whom Christ died – we are making a mighty appeal to the heart of God.
• Daniel’s prayer for revival was answered. The prayer of a righteous man, based upon the Scriptures and for God’s glory, will be answered. Continue to offer humble, sacrificial, repentant, whole-souled prayer for revival. Such prayers, combined with fasting, because of the efficacy of the blood, and the intercession of Christ, on God’s right hand, must find answer (Jas. 5:16; Heb. 7:25).
Add fasting to your prayers, and put sackcloth on your soul, and pray on and on for the church of God as Daniel prayed for Israel. And since with God, holy and righteous, there is no respect of persons (Acts 10:34), your prayers for revival, nation-wide, church-wide, world-wide – will also be answered.
Are you praying after Daniel’s inspired example? Do you pray with confession and humility for divine mercy in keeping with the character of God? Do you plead the promises of God before Him, claiming their fulfillment above all that you can ask or think? (Eph. 3:20).
Will you “set (your) face unto the Lord God” and pray for a spiritual awakening in the nation, and revival in the church?