40 DAYS OF PRAYER AND FASTING: DAY 2 – INTRODUCTION – PART 2
“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans–in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.” Daniel 9:1-3
Another example which supports our need for prayer is found in the life of Daniel. In 606 B.C. Israel had been taken captive by another nation because of its sin. Years later in Daniel 9 we are told that while reading the prophet Jeremiah’s writing, Daniel discovered it was time for Israel’s captivity to end. Jeremiah had not only prophesied the captivity of which Daniel was a part, but he also prophesied the duration: 70 years.
At this point Daniel did something very different from what most of us would do. When we receive a promise of revival, deliverance, healing, and restoration, we tend to passively wait for its fulfillment—but not Daniel. He knew better and somehow he must have known that God needed his involvement because he said, “So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes” (Daniel 9:3).
The Bible did not specifically say Israel was restored because of Daniel’s and Elijah’s prayers, but with the emphasis given to them, the insinuation is certainly there. We do know that the angel Gabriel was dispatched immediately after Daniel started praying. However, it took him 21 days to penetrate the warfare in the heavens with the message to inform Daniel that “Your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words” (Daniel 10:12).
Paul E. Billheimer says: Daniel evidently realized that intercession had a part to play in bringing the prophecy to pass. God had made the prophecy and when it was time for its fulfillment, He did not fulfill it arbitrarily outside of His program of prayer. As a result He sought for a man upon whose heart He could lay a burden of intercession….As always, God made the decision in heaven. A man was called upon to enforce that decision on earth through intercession and faith.
The seven principles of intercessory prayer continue:
4. Spiritual warfare for the lost
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
5. Praying for the lost
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
6. Persistence in prayer
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16
Rev. Obadiah Swen
APPLICATION AND PRAYER FOR TODAY
1. Pray for a great outpouring of God’s Spirit on America. (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17)
2. Pray for the President and Vice-President, that their hearts would be guided by God, that their decisions would be wise and that their leadership would be principled.
“Prayer penetrates doors we will never enter. Prayer breaks hearts that have been hardened by the most ruthless pursuit of position. Prayer bridges the gap between the modest den of the meek and the highest places of government, where laws are made and bills are signed and officials wrestle against impossible odds.” – Beth Moore