Saturday, May 8, 2010
Place of Intercession
Daniel the diplomat, the man of unstoppable prayer, the visionary, the lover of God's Holy City, the expatriate demonstrated a most remarkable principle for revival. He saw himself in the place of the sinful, backsliding Hebrew race. He pleaded with God for mercy as one of them. He listed the shortcomings. He did not hold himself out as exempt. He allowed himself to become steeped in God's disappointment with the sin. He identified with the position of each of the sinner and the One who could restore. He became desperate for change of heart.
We see this as unusual in light of our knowledge of Daniel's record of extraordinary upright living. Certainly we cannot measure up to his record in coming before the Lord for merciful reprieve, but try we must, and in the same spirit. The cry is for the community at large and for the particular assembly of faith.
Hear his words from the 9th chapter:
12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing upon us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The LORD did not hesitate to bring the disaster upon us, for the LORD our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.
15 "Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.
17 "Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name."