Updated: Jul 22, 2020
Scripture: "Yet while I was speaking in prayer, Gabriel came near to me and touched me about the time of my evening sacrifice. He instructed me and made me understand. He talked with me and said, 'I am here now to give you skill and wisdom and understanding. At the beginning of your prayers the word went forth, and I have come to tell you, you are greatly beloved. Therefore, consider the matter and understand the vision." Daniel 9:21-23
Good morning! Let's invite the Holy Spirit into this moment. Come Holy Spirit and break open the Word for us that we may be changed, encouraged, inspired and transformed into living words of Jesus, our Lord.
Yesterday we talked about the importance of coming from a place of believing God is ALWAYS good, ALWAYS faithful and ALWAYS keeps His promises. We talked about having to wrestle ourselves into a place of belief that He loves ME, and that His promises are for ME. And we talked about having a critical part to play...that with each of His promises He's inviting us to engage with Him. Today, Daniel has some wonderful things to teach us. Daniel was not a career prophet. He was a young Jewish man taken into captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar when Jerusalem was besieged by the Babylonians in 605 BC. He loved the Lord deeply and was a tremendous example of a faith on fire!
One day Daniel was praying and reading the words of Jeremiah (25:11-13) about the desolation of Jerusalem, and the number of years (70) they must endure captivity because of the sins of the nation. Daniel took this literally and was actually living it. As he read and prayed, it dawned on Daniel that he was IN the 70th year of captivity. Now you and I often sit back and think that God's going to do what He's going to do, but Daniel wasn't remotely thinking that he would let the chips fall where they may. In verse 3, he immediately shifted into action mode. " I, Daniel, set my face to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications; with fasting and sackcloth and ashes." This guy was no weenie warrior! Then He began praying and praising God for His greatness, goodness, mercy and compassion. His next move was critically important. He made a sincere confession for the sins of his people. But he didn't say, "O God THEY have sinned." The blame game never crossed his lips. He said, " We/, the whole nation, have sinned...dealt perversely...not listened or heeded your voice." Hmmm. Does this have a familiar ring to it??
Daniel then began reminding the Lord of His faithfulness. He begged for forgiveness and reminded God how good and faithful HE was, even when the people were faithless slugs! He recounted God's amazing feats in leading the people out of Egypt and told God how this brought untold glory to the name of God. What I love most about Daniel is that he approached God as a man who would not be denied! Nope. He was that nagging woman in Scripture (Luke 18:1-8), and the Canaanite woman with the demonized child (Matt 15: 21-28). And by the way, Jesus held these two women up as His dream models of radical, trusting faith. How Daniel must have blessed God's heart coming as a beloved son who just believed totally that His Father couldn't WAIT to hear him and answer every good desire. And here's the thing: Daniel was praying prayers from God's Heart. He KNEW God wanted His people to love Him to repent and come home to Him. And He was praying prayers that would bring GOD the most glory, not Daniel. (Daniel 9:1-19) And then something AWESOME happened. Imagine if this was you:
"As I was praying, Gabriel came near me...He instructed me and made me understand; he talked with me and said, 'O Daniel, I am now coming forth to give you skill, wisdom and understanding. At the beginning of your prayers, the word went forth, and I have come to tell you are greatly beloved." (Dan 9:22) God heard him and was so blessed by his faith and total confidence and love, he sent Gabriel to say, "He heard every word and your prayers matter. You are moving heaven!"
Here it is, friends. These are the keys, given by God, that He most wants us to know. We have a critical part to play in bringing the promises of God into being. We pray every day, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." For some reason unfathomable to us, the Lord of the universe has chosen to delight in partnering with us. If the enemy can keep us from knowing this. And it's an age-old problem. Ezekiel 22:30 says, "I sought a man among them to stand in the gap before Me for the land that I should not destroy it, but found no one." But what else does the Lord say? 2 Chron 7:14 says, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and begin to pray, I will hear them and I will heal their land. "So, dear friends, for such a time as this we stand anointed”. (Esther 4) We hold our weapons in our hands, our prescription for fighting this virus, but also EVERY virus that attacks the people of God, body, mind and soul.
We are leaning in for 9 days to learn how to fight for Ballistic Breakthrough. The Lord is looking for those with a heart and a faith like Daniel. Let's give Him our Yes. Our Blessed Mother and the Holy Spirit have been waiting for us to say YES! It's their job to transform us from weenie warriors to OTHER CHRISTS! Holy Spirit, make us into people who are battle ready and excited to see how God is going to creatively breakthrough. And how amazing and astounding that He wants to use us for breakthrough. He will not do it without us. This is HUGE. Read and re-read these verses. Soak in these truths. (Don't tell me you don't have time!) We don't have to reinvent the wheel. It's laid out right here.
1) Set your face. Be determined and don't quit.
2) Praise Him and worship. Praise first when something happens. Don't tell Him about the problem. Surely Daniel could have expounded endlessly on the terrible things that were happening to the people in captivity. But he didn't. He praised. That's how we enter into heaven's realm. That's how we learn to see with Kingdom eyes. (Ps. 100:4) And then we see our situations through God's eyes. Otherwise we just pray the problem and leave our prayer time more depleted. If you need worship playlists follow me on Spotify. Or read praise psalms. There are a million ways to praise Him.
3) Get honest and confess, for you, your family, your generations, your nation, etc.
4) LISTEN to hear His voice. He promises His sheep will hear His voice. (John 10:27-28) Learn to be still. (Ps 46:10) That's where you'll hear Him.
5) Pray like you KNOW without a doubt that you are a totally beloved child and your Father LOVES not only that you are praying, but that you are praying what God has already promised, so you BELIEVE 100% that He will answer your prayers. And He WILL. WOW.
6) Never, ever, ever give up. (Gal 6:9)
Declaration: We thank you Lord that you are making us people wired for Ballistic Breakthrough. We will thrive in whatever situation we find ourselves. (Phil 4:11-13) You know that You will meet our every need: protection, health, emotional, relational, wisdom, finances and needs of every other kind. (Phil 4:19) We are humbling ourselves, praying, repenting and thanking You that You are healing our land. (2 Chron 7:14) We will not worry about a thing, but in everything through prayer and thanksgiving we take hold of the peace of Christ which guards our hearts and minds. (Phil 4:6-7) The name of Jesus is greater than coronavirus and every other enemy that assails us. (Phil 2:9) Our prayers matter and are positively bringing change, because we are praying from Your Heart. (James 5:17-18) Nothing can separate us from Your love and care, and no matter what happens, we will be ok. (Romans 8:28) We bless and praise YOU, Lord!
All glory to the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. May every grace and blessing be multiplied to you.
Sending all my love and prayers to you, people of my heart.