November 15, 2013

“We do not make this request because we are righteous…” Daniel 9: 18
Daniel 9 contains an AMAZING prayer! God’s people are in Babylonian captivity and Daniel is talking with God about the “situation.” As I read his prayer this morning I was again reminded of the importance of praying with a heart of conviction focused on God and not myself. Verses 1-19 provide a clear outline and description of prayer- not begging (or “whining” at times,) to get God to give me what I want; but rather a very focused attempt to understand what God wants and to want what He wants more than anything. Here’s what I found:

  1. He first was reading his Bible to understand what was happening to them and what God’s plan was. From Jeremiah he discovered how long their punishment would be for choosing NOT to follow God and His ways. I wonder what would happen if I went to God’s word rather than anything else to understand life’s challenges and situations?
  2. He then went to God and said clearly, “The trouble we are in right now—it’s our fault.” Taking ownership rather than excusing or explaining away my situation is apparently what it takes for God to apply His loving forgiveness that He wants so badly to provide.
  3. He acknowledged that God is just, and loving, because He told them a long time ago what would happen if they chose not to love Him and follow Him with all their hearts. They were getting what they deserved.
  4. He asked God for help, NOT to get them out of captivity, but to show mercy on them SO THAT He could re-establish HIS plan, HIS sanctuary, and HIS people for HIS glory.
  5. And this is the part I like the best!! “We don’t ask for this just for ourselves; we ask for it because You are merciful and loving.” I don’t “get” God’s will because I deserve it; I get it because of His love and mercy!
  6. “O lord, listen to us! O Lord, forgive us! O Lord, hear and act—FOR YOUR SAKE!!!” My prayer is now, “Do what you need to do and are capable of BECAUSE I have stopped rebelling and have decided to stop telling You what to do and choosing instead to start listening to hear what You want to do!”

When I get this, it changes my prayer life. When I get this, God is “freed” to not be limited by what I want, but to do what HE knows is best. And then we both win!!
Have a great day praying like Daniel,
Pastor Rich
PS UC Family Worship  will be a special time with Union for Christ leader Tyler and his team. Come relaxed, come with your blanket, come with a desire to focus worship toward Jesus in the relaxed environment of the church lobby @ 7:30! Don’t forget your offering for the Philippines.
PPS After vespers activity will be hosted by CABL- Collegiate Adventists for Better Living and the Leadership Cohort. Join us in the lobby of the church for refreshments, Operation Christmas Child preparations, and a “fill your bucket” demonstration!
Quote for the day: “The things I do for myself will be gone when I am someday dead, but the things I do for others will remain as my legacy.” Todd Wagner