THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
Studying the Word and Our Prayers
Daniel studied the words of Jeremiah – he studied the Bible! And through His time in God’s word (the book of Jeremiah) he was able to understand a prophecy that Jerusalem/Israel would be in captivity for 70 years and they were living in those 70 years. How often do we go to God’s Word to find truths and God’s promises that drastically impact the way we live and look to the future?
Do you know what Daniel did as soon as he figured this out?
But he didn’t just pray. He, “turned to the Lord and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.”
When was the last time you pleaded with God like this?
And when he prayed, he didn’t just beg God to return to Jerusalem (his dream), he confessed and acknowledged his sin and Israel’s sin. He couldn’t get to his petition because there was something to take care of first – confessing the sins that got them there in the first place.
Sometimes I wonder if we forget that the only way we can be forgiven is to first realize the need to confess. Daniel studied God’s Word, realized what was going on in history, it brought him to his knees and as he began to pray, he couldn’t start with anything else other than confession – “we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.” Haven’t we done the same?
You know what surprised me? In the end, Daniel didn’t get to go back to Jerusalem, but his prayers helped the next generation get to go back. It reminds me that it isn’t always about us. There are so many things so much more important than me in this world and I hope my prayers reflect that.