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Praying In Babylon
By R.S. Neaville
We can learn alot from Daniels prayer in the book of Daniel (chapter 9) because it speaks to the situation of Christianity today. We too have been in a captivity to Babylon and the time is now for us to come out of her and build God's House...But how? Daniel's prayer gives us clues.
1. And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
2. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
3. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
4. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues
Haggai 1:2. Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built.
3. Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying,
4. Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?
5. Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
Daniel faced the situation of his time when he was very old. He read in books about how he and the others had come to be in captivity to Babylon (Jeremiah). it was for seventy years and this was near the time for it to end. Seven is a time set aside as a complete work, and this work of God was about to be concluded. In this we have our first clue. We need as Christians (God's people) to realise where we are and why . I believe the Holy Spirit is showing us that very thing. we have been in captivity for our own 70 years . Not literal years , but a time set aside by God for him to purify us. We too can see as Daniel did that we are near the completion of that time. The spirit revealed it to Daniel in the scriptures , and so too with us.
Daniel 9: 2. In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
So when we as a body start to see this truth..what then? We do what daniel did from the heart.
Daniel 9:3. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
4. And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
5. We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
6. Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
7. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
8. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
9. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
10. Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
11. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
12. And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
13. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
14. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.
15. And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
16. O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.
17. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.
18. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
19. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
20. And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God;
1. Daniel dropped down to pray and seek God's face for his people. First and formost. he did it clothed in sackcloth and ashes; this shows us we must approach God with humilty
2. Then he owned up to the sin of him and his people. Daniel was a dedicated man of God, and we do not see him as one of the bible's great sinners, but he realised the knowledge and the gifts he was given were not so he could have a blessed life alone. He did what all men of God are called to do; He layed down his life for the body and stood in the gap, numbering himself among the sinners. Even as we see Jesus did by becomeing a man and suffering as we do.Jesus came to be a sacrifice for sinners and was numbered among us. Even as Moses chose to suffer with the people of God and not live as a prince of Egypt.
3. Daniel confessed for the people and acknowledged all the ways they had departed from him and his precepts.
4. Daniel brought out the truth that God had delivered the people with a mighty hand from Egypt, acknowledging to God he was our savior and that we cannot save ourselves. We too as Christians were brought up out of Egypt ( the world) through that passover (the Lamb of God , Jesus) and as Daniel confessed it , we all had done wickedly even after that. We must go back to that first love..we must remember our savior!
5. Daniel reminded God that we are saved not be cause of our selves, but for his names sake, his righteousnees sake, He pleaded that God not leave his people in captivity for his glory's sake, for we are the people of his name and created to glorify him. This is a zealousness for God's reputation that the Church to day lacks as demonstrated in the scandel and reproach we have brought to the name of Christ in the world's eyes. Daniel did not remind God of this just to manipulate God to act..but rather he was sincerely concerned with God's glory from the heart..as we need to be. We should all realize this as those whom God has bought with a precious price...Jesus.
The above five points are clearly demonstrated in Daniel chapter nine. It was then , after Daniel set his heart in humility toward God that there was an immediate answer. Gabriel was sent swiftly with an answer, and told Daniel when he first started to pray an answer was given. Do you want the answer for our generation? Can you do from the heart what Daniel and so many others have done? Can you fall on your face and seek God for the people? Can we as Christians finally do this...together? look around...this is the time. Come out of her my people!
more to come...
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