Over time, I have shared messages on prayer and have put them under a general umbrella of “A Life of Prayer,” and yes, I realize that is pretty vague, but hopefully you can appreciate the messages. This morning I was looking in the 5th chapter of Jeremiah and saw the Lord pleading, “Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find just one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city” (Jeremiah 5:1). That is pretty sad, don’t you think? “Look around. Take note. Search the market squares. See if you can find just one man, one woman, just one little kid, even. All it will take is a single soul who does what is right and tries to live a true life. If you can find just one, I will forgive everyone . . .” But obviously he could not find one. Ouch!
During the Babylonian captivity, The Lord did find someone to fill those boots. He found Daniel. We will look at him in a moment, but please understand that today, more than ever in history, the Lord is searching for the same kind of Godly men and women. He is seeking faithful servants who are willing to “make up the hedge” and “stand in the gap,” works that can obviously only be accomplished through prayer. What is interesting, it seems that lately, the Lord is continually sending messages and teachings on prayer. I am seeing it everywhere: on TV, Radio, Internet. Everyone sees the need for us to pray!
You see, just like Daniel, a person with this burden, this calling, if you will, will be found with God’s Word in one hand with their knees on the floor. I’m serious. When the Holy Spirit came to Daniel, he was actually reading the book of Jeremiah. That was when the Spirit revealed that the time of deliverance had come for Israel. As the revelation came, Daniel was provoked, compelled to pray:
“I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments . . .” (Daniel 9:3–4).
Daniel knew the Lord’s people weren’t ready to receive His restoration. But did he lambaste them for their sins? Did he cluck his tongue and shake his finger at them? No! Daniel identified himself with the moral decay all around him. He declared, “We have sinned . . . we are covered with shame . . . we have rebelled . . . against you” (Daniel 9:5, 8). You cannot separate yourself from those you are praying for! To be truly involved in the ministry of intercession, you must be able to identify with those you are interceding for. Isn’t that was Jesus did? In order to rescue us from our sin and punishment of death, didn’t he become one of us?
Also, our Lord strongly longs to bless his people today — but if our minds are polluted with the spirit of this world, we are in no position to receive His blessings. Daniel made this powerful statement: “All this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. The LORD did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the LORD our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him” (Daniel 9:13–14).
If we can examine our own walk with the Lord and let the Holy Spirit show us areas where we have compromised. Even the smallest areas of rebellion and sin. We would do more than pray for a backsliding nation. We would be crying out, “Oh, Lord, search my heart. Expose in me all of the spirit of the world that has crept into my life.” Like Daniel, that’s when we can set our faces to pray for the deliverance of our families and our nation. And not until then.
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your generous gifts.
It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.