Sunday School Material
3-10-13: Daniel's Prayer

(Daniel 9:4-14, 17; 3/10/13)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Daniel prayed for God to forgive the sins of the people for God’s sake. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to both live obedient lives and seek God’s favor for the sake of His sovereign plan.

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Read Daniel 9:4-6

I. Confession. In our Sunday School material the writer, Daniel, talks about how he prayed to the Lord. God is said to keep His covenant with those who love and obey Him. Daniel goes on to confess that the people of God have not obeyed God’s word, as delivered by God’s servants the prophets.

Applications -

- Confessional prayer. Notice in vss. 4, 5 of the Sunday School material that prayer should include some confession of sin. As with Daniel, every believer should be known for regular prayer. But there are also times to engage in special prayer.

We should make sure that we make time to confess our sins to God. Confession may help us understand, why things are the way they are. Confession may help us appreciate things being as well as they are.

Sometimes we may have to confess our being a part of a sinful group (e.g., partnership, family, church, community, nation, etc.). Let’s work on including confession in our developing prayer life.

- The great Covenant Keeper. Notice in vs. 4 of the Sunday School material that a part of God’s greatness is His being a loving covenant keeper.

At the core of God’s covenant with the Jews was that He would show great favor on them in exchange for their obedience and punishment in exchange for their disobedience.

God kept His part of the covenant. In this case, it was punishment for sin. Let’s live like we believe that God is a covenant keeper.

Such living should be known for obedience. If slow down, when we see police officers monitoring traffic, we should work on our sins, in light of God’s every seeing eyes.

Read Daniel 9:7-14

II. Realization. In our Sunday School material Daniel talks about how the people were scattered by God because of their unfaithfulness to God. He rehearses the fact that the people have not been obedient to God. God is righteous in His punishment of the people.

Applications -

- Avoiding righteous punishment. Notice in vss. 7, 12 that God is righteous in punishing His unfaithful people. On one hand, all disasters are not punishment from God.

But on the other hand, some disasters may well be God’s hand of punishment. God can send terrible things into our lives, as punishment. And God can withhold good things from our lives, as punishment.

Let’s live obedient lives, so we don’t have to experience God’s punishment. At the core of God’s commands are to make sure we are saved by accepting Jesus as our savior by faith and then loving God and others, as we love ourselves. 

- Enough blame to go around. Notice in vss. 8, 11 that all have sinned. “All” includes those who have already died, those who are alive, those in high offices, and the ordinary citizens.

There is enough blame to pass around.  There are too many people who blame all of the problems on a select group of people.

Consequently, we keep on doing what we have been doing and keep on suffering what we have been suffering (see vs. 13). The truth is, we can all do at least a little better and therefore we should do so.

Let’s work on avoiding the blame game (i.e., assigning blame to others, instead of ourselves). An early step in getting to where God would have us to be is to acknowledge that all of us have some sins to deal with.

Read Daniel 9:17

III. Appeal. Daniel pleads for God to hear his prayers and petitions. In our Sunday School material He acknowledges that he is simply a servant of God. Daniel asks the Lord to show favor on His sanctuary for His own sake.

Applications -

- Appealing to God’s sovereign plan. Notice in vs. 7 of our Sunday School material that Daniel appeals to God’s concern with His own agenda. God loved the world so much that He used the Jews as a means to the end of providing salvation to whoever would accept Jesus as savior.

When we talk with God, we are building our petition on shaky ground, when we build it on our promise to do better next time or we make excuses for why we have sinned. Our strongest path of appeal is God’s sovereign plan, which includes using sinful people like us.

Let’s work on appealing to God’s sovereign plan. This doesn’t mean that we should live in sin and then seek God’s favor because of His sovereign plan. But it does mean that we have something stronger going for us than our promise to do better or our excuses for failure.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living obedient lives and seeking God’s favor for the sake of His sovereign plan. God has much for those who obey His will.

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