His Promises Come Through Prayer and Fasting
The mention of the name, Daniel, causes us to automatically think of Daniel and the lions’ den. This was certainly a miracle in Daniel’s life, but I want to focus on another very important event concerning him. We see in Daniel that he was a prayer warrior. He kneeled on his knees three times a day and gave thanks before God (Daniel 6:10). Knowing that the king had made a proclamation that if anyone prayed to anyone other than him, that person would be thrown into the lions’ den. He prayed to God anyway.
Daniel was also a student of the Word. We read in Daniel 9:1-3 NIV, “In the first year of Darius son of Xeres (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom—in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So, I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” “The desolation of Jerusalem” came when there were abominations in the land. Abominations is that which is disgusting to the Lord and is often associated with defiling and/or idolatrous acts. This had to do with their worship of pagan idols.
Daniel evidently had read Jeremiah 29:10-13 NIV, “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you [the Jewish people} and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place [Jerusalem]. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Daniel had been promoted to Prime Minister of the Persian Empire. The Word says that he had an “excellent spirit” (Dan. 5:12). He had access to the records and he knew that 70 years had almost passed since they were taken captive. He could have said, “Well, God is going to free His people, and they are going back to Jerusalem.” He could have just sat back and said, “Well, that is the will of the Lord. It will just happen.” …But this was not how Daniel handled this knowledge of the Word. We saw in Daniel 9 that he “turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” Why? Daniel saw in Jeremiah that God said that the people were to call upon Him, come, and pray to Him, and He promised to listen to them. He said that they were to seek Him and find Him when they sought Him with all their hearts.
God was saying, “I’m ready to end the desolation of Jerusalem at the end of 70 years, but my people have to meet My conditions. You’re going to have to call upon Me and pray. When you do pray, I’ll listen to you. When you give yourself unreservedly to seeking Me and to prayer, then I will respond and do what I’ve committed Myself to do.”
What about the Scripture in 2 Chronicles 7:14? “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” This is also a promise from our Father, but it won’t just happen. The verse is very clear that we must humble ourselves before Him and pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. How about Isaiah 35:2, 5&6 “…They shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. …Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.” Will this just automatically happen? I adjure you in the name of the Lord, it won’t. As Daniel, we must seek our Lord in prayers and in fastings. Then, we will see His promises come to pass. Amen!