Sunday School Material 1-21-18 : A Prayer for an Obedient Faith

(Daniel 9:4-8, 15-19; 1/21/18)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Daniel prayed to the Lord about the Lord being gracious for His own name’s sake. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on living obedient lives and appealing to God’s character, when we stray away.

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Read Daniel 9:4-8

I. People’s Sins. Daniel prays to God. In our Sunday School material, Daniel confesses that he and the rest of the people of God have sinned. They have done wrong, in spite of the urging of the Prophets.

Applications –

- Praying. Notice in vs. 4 of our Sunday School material that Daniel prays to the great and awesome God who keeps His covenant. First, we should make time to pray. We should have some scheduled times to pray as individuals and as a group of God’s people. We should make sure that our praying/communicating with God includes some praise, thanksgiving, and confession, instead of just a list of supplications or requests.

Second, when we prayer we should remember that God is great and awesome. When we really understand this, it should influence how we pray and what we pray about. There should be great reverence in how we pray. And we should pray as if we trust God to be able to handle what is needed.

Third, God is a covenant keeper. He keeps His word. We should obey Him, as if we believe that He will bless obedience and punish disobedience. Let’s work on praying to our great, awesome, and covenant keeping God.

- Confession. Notice in vss. 5-6 that Daniel confesses both his sins and those of the group. First, we should come clean with God about our sins and shortcomings. None of us can come to God eye ball to eye ball. We all come with great humility, knowing that we have fallen short.

Second, some of our sins come from not listening to and obeying what God is saying through His servants – prophets in this Sunday School material but Pastors and others today.  When we ignore what God is saying through the one He sent, we are not just ignoring the Pastor, we are ignoring and sinning against God.

Think about how this relates to our attitude and actions related to inviting and trying to bring people with us to worship and growth groups, to our paying our tithes and giving our offerings, and to our giving our best in service to God. Let’s work on both confessing our sins and turning from them. 

Y- Scattered and shamed. Notice in vss. 7-8 that the sins of the people led to them being scattered and covered in shame. In like manner, sin never ends well for us. Sin leads to all kinds of negativity in our lives. Our lives are challenging enough without adding God’s scattering and shame to our list. Let’s work on our sins, so we can avoid being scattered and shamed.

Read Daniel 9:15-16

II. God’s Holiness. Daniel continues to confess the sins of which he and God’s people are guilty. In our Sunday School material, Daniel talks about how God has been good to them and brought them out of Egypt. Daniel appeals to God’s righteousness and asks for the Lord to turn from His wrath.

Applications –

- God our deliverer. Notice in vs. 15 that Daniel acknowledged the Lord’s bringing His people out of Egypt. In like manner, it has been the Lord who has brought us out of “Egypt like” situations.

The Lord has brought us through dangers seen and unseen. It was not our own ability. It was the Lord. Let’s live like we believe that God has brought us through our troubles. Such living should be known for thankfulness and obedience.

Read Daniel 9:17-19

III. Daniel’s Request. In our Sunday School material Daniel continues to pray. He appeals to God honoring His own name. Daniel doesn’t ask for mercy because he is righteous. He appeals to God’s mercy.

Applications –

- Appealing to the Lord’s name. Notice in vss. 18-19 that Daniel’s requests are based on God’s mercy, not the people’s deserving it. In like manner, we should remember that we don’t deserve God’s grace and mercy. Our sins should lead to our destruction. Our only hope is that God would be gracious just because He is a God of grace.

Let’s work on praying for God’s will to be done, not just our own. This calls for prayerfully studying God’s word to help us discern what is God’s will. We should also trust God’s will to be best for us.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living obedient lives and appealing to God’s character, when we stray away. God has much for those who obey His will.

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