Read Daniel 9:1-19.
The Old Testament prophet Daniel became an advisor to kings because of who he was in secret on his knees before God.
When we pray, we become partners in the fulfillment of God's eternal plan.
Daniel was born in the land of Judah during a time when much of the nation had fallen away from God. He was a teenager when God permitted the forces of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to lay siege to Jerusalem.
Along with much of the population of Jerusalem, Daniel and his friends were shackled and led away in chains to Babylon, where they became servants in the royal court of Nebuchadnezzar. Exiled to a foreign land, Daniel stood his moral and spiritual ground, as we see in the story of Daniel being willing to die in the lions' den rather than stop praying.
Whenever you see a person standing firm for God, you'll find that they first bent the knee to God in prayer. When God's people refuse to compromise their faith, when God's people persistently, consistently, and obstinately go to their knees in prayer, big things happen. Future history changes. Everything that was notable about Daniel flowed from his daily time with God. People who spend time with God every day can't help but be changed.
We see this in Daniel's remarkable prayer in Daniel 9, when the Jewish people had been in exile in Babylon for nearly seventy years. Daniel pleads with God through confession, intercession, and petition.
When you pray, remember Daniel's prayer. Remember that the same God who answered Daniel's prayers has promised to answer your prayers. Remember that the same God who foretold the outline of future history to Jeremiah and Daniel is in control of your future as well. You can trust Him with your future because He is the one who announced the return of His people to Israel after seventy years of exile, then moved the king of Persia to send them home—precisely on schedule. And He is the one who announced the coming of the Messiah, then sent Him into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday—precisely on schedule.
History never catches God by surprise. When we pray, we become partners in the fulfillment of His eternal plan. So pray like Daniel, rely on God's promises, and prepare to be amazed.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the honor of serving Your Kingdom through prayer and obedience. Help me to be faithful in these callings so that by my witness of trust in You, many might see Your goodness and Truth and be saved. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name" (Daniel 9:19).
*This devotional adapted from Life-Changing Prayers by Michael Youssef © 2018. Published by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission.
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Life-Changing Prayers, Part 1: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW