READ: Daniel 9-10
THINK: If God already knows what He wants to accomplish and His ultimate plans will always be fulfilled, then why does He want us to pray about such things? The fact is that God's plans involve human responsibility. We have the privilege of participating in His purposes and learning more about Him through prayer and obedience to His Word. These disciplines gave Daniel insight others didn't have, as well as confidence, peace and boldness in difficult situations. As we get to know God better, we too will understand His plans and relate to His passion for people. We'll begin to see things as He sees them and gain greater desire to reach out with His message and love.
RESPOND: In 9:1-4, what spiritual disciplines are evident in Daniel's life? How did these disciplines affect his life? Though God already declared He would bring His people out of exile, why was Daniel still compelled to pray as he did? (See 9:2 notes.) What can we learn from his prayer? How can getting to know God better affect our attitudes toward others, particularly those who don't know Jesus? How can your prayers affect others? According to 9:4, who can claim the promises of God's covenant? What was Daniel's main reason in praying for Jerusalem's restoration (9:17-18)? (See 9:5 note.) What are the "seventy ‘sevens'" (9:24)? (See 9:24 note.) What would happen at the end of the first 69 "sevens" (9:25), and who is the Anointed One? (See 9:25 note.) What happens between the 69th and the 70th "sevens"? (See 9:26 note.) What will mark the beginning of the 70th "seven," and what will happen in the middle of these final seven years before Jesus returns to earth? (See 9:27 note.) What was happening in the spiritual realm while Daniel was fasting and praying (10:12-14), and what can we learn from this? (See 10:13 note.)
PRAY: Pray that you'll develop greater discipline, desire and delight for time in God's Word and prayer. Pray for several individuals you know who still lack a personal relationship with Christ.
ACT: Have you prayed about something you feel is part of God's purpose, but the answer hasn't come? Don't give up. Pray persistently. God isn't reluctant to answer, but He wants you to trust Him and gain passion for His purposes. Serve faithfully as you anticipate God's response. Read the article on "Intercession," p. 1134 in the FBSE.
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