September 27, 2015
Daniel’s Successful Prayer Life
Daniel Serves Darius
6 [a]It seemed good to Darius to appoint 120 satraps over the kingdom, that they would be in charge of the whole kingdom, 2 and over them three commissioners (of whom Daniel was one), that these satraps might be accountable to them, and that the king might not suffer loss. 3 Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself [b]among the commissioners and satraps because [c]he possessed an extraordinary spirit, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom. 4 Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to [d]government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God.”
6 Then these commissioners and satraps came [e]by agreement to the king and spoke to him as follows: “King Darius, live forever! 7 All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions’ [f]den. 8 Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which [g]may not be revoked.”9 Therefore King Darius signed the document, that is, the injunction.
10 Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, [h]as he had been doing previously. 11 Then these men came [i]by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God. 12 Then they approached and spoke before the king about the king’s injunction, “Did you not sign an injunction that any man who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, is to be cast into the lions’ den?” The king replied, “The statement is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which [j]may not be revoked.” 13 Then they answered and spoke before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the [k]exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day.”
14 Then, as soon as the king heard this statement, he was deeply distressed and set hismind on delivering Daniel; and even until sunset he kept exerting himself to rescue him.15 Then these men came [l]by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Recognize, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute which the king establishes may be changed.”
Daniel in the Lions’ Den
16 Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and cast into the lions’ den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “[m]Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you.” 17 A stone was brought and laid over the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing would be changed in regard to Daniel. 18 Then the king went off to his palace and spent the night fasting, and no entertainment was brought before him; and his sleep fled from him.
19 Then the king arose at dawn, at the break of day, and went in haste to the lions’ den.20 When he had come near the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel spoke [n]to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as [o]I was found innocent before Him; and also [p]toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.” 23 Then the king was very pleased and gave orders for Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 The king then gave orders, and they brought those men who had [q]maliciously accused Daniel, and they cast them, their children and their wives into the lions’ den; and they had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
25 Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every [r]language who were living in all the land: “May your [s]peace abound! 26 [t]I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel;
For He is the living God and enduring forever,
And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed,
And His dominion will be [u]forever.
27 “He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth,
Who has also delivered Daniel from the [v]power of the lions.”
28 So this Daniel enjoyed success in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Daniel’s Prayer for His People
9 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. 3 So I [a]gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. 6 Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.
7 “Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us [b]open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. 8 [c]Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.9 To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, [d]for we have rebelled against Him; 10 nor have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His [e]teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. 11 Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him. 12 Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our [f]rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not [g]sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our iniquity and [h]giving attention to Your truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has [i]kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the Lord our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.
15 “And now, O Lord our God, who have brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and have made a name for Yourself, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have been wicked. 16 O Lord, in accordance with all Your [j]righteous acts, let now Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a reproach to all those around us. 17 So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for [k]Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary. 18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not [l]presenting our supplications before You on account of [m]any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”
Gabriel Brings an Answer
20 Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and [n]presenting my supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, 21 while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision [o]previously, [p]came to me [q]in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. 22 He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. 23 At the beginning of your supplications the [r]command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are [s]highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision.
Seventy Weeks and the Messiah
24 “Seventy [t]weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to [u]finish the transgression, to [v]make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and [w]prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 25 So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a [x]decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until [y]Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with [z]plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 Then after the sixty-two weeks the [aa]Messiah will be cut off and have [ab]nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And [ac]its end will comewith a flood; even to the end [ad]there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of [ae]abominations will comeone who [af]makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who [ag]makes desolate.”
Daniel Is Terrified by a Vision
10 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a [a]message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar; and the [b]message was true and one of great [c]conflict, but he understood the [d]message and had an understanding of the vision.
2 In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. 3 I did not eat any [e]tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed. 4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the [f]Tigris, 5 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz. 6 His body also was like [g]beryl, his face [h]had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a [i]tumult. 7 Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who were with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great dread fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves. 8 So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my [j]natural color turned to [k]a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength. 9 But I heard the sound of his words; and as soon as I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground.
10 Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my [l]hands and knees. 11 He said to me, “O Daniel, man of [m]high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand [n]upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was [o]withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the [p]latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”
15 When he had spoken to me according to these words, I [q]turned my face toward the ground and became speechless. 16 And behold, [r]one who resembled a human being was touching my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke and said to him who was standing before me, “O my lord, as a result of the vision [s]anguish has come upon me, and I have retained no strength. 17 For how can such a servant of my lord talk with such as my lord? As for me, there remains just now no strength in me, nor has any breath been left in me.”
18 Then this one with human appearance touched me again and strengthened me. 19 He said, “O man of [t]high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace [u]be with you; take courage and be courageous!” Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, “May my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” 20 Then he said, “Do you [v]understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the [w]prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the [x]prince of [y]Greece is about to come. 21 However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who [z]stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.