I, Daniel, understood from the books that according to the word of Adonai to Jeremiah the prophet, the number of the years for the fulfilling of the desolation of Jerusalem would be 70 years. So I set my face to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes (Daniel 9:2-3).
Some of the greatest prayers ever prayed will be prayed soon.
In chapter 9 of the book of Daniel, we read that Daniel realized the prophesied 70 years for the Jewish captivity in Babylon had come to an end.
Call it pompous, call it bold, name it foolish – but one man decided to pray for an entire nation to be delivered.
His prayer was answered with the Jews returning to rebuild Jerusalem. Along with this answered prayer, Daniel was given a prophecy of the timeframe between the rebuilding of the temple to the first coming of Christ, and then another prophecy of the last seven years of human history.
That’s great praying!
He began by praying…
We have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from Your commandments and rules (Daniel 9:5, ESV).
Humility, not accusation, is the best place to start great praying.
Daniel didn’t complain to God about His unjust treatment of the Jews. He recognized that the captivity was caused by God’s people breaking their covenant with God.
The Jews had chosen “doing what was right in their eyes” while forsaking the commandments of God. Daniel knew that the prophet Jeremiah had prophesied that the Jews would be captive for their sins and banished in Babylon for 70 years. (Jeremiah 29:1-10)
God always works His purposes through His servants. In this instance God used Daniel. We can argue that God would accomplish His purposes if Daniel had not prayed – we don’t know if God would have used another – but we do know that Daniel prayed for his nation.
And God answered that prayer.
I went on praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people, pleading with the Lord my God for Jerusalem, his holy mountain. As I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came swiftly to me (Daniel 9:20-21).
What elevates this prayer was the second seventy. Daniel prayed that the 70 prophesied years had concluded. But the Angel Gabriel described another 70 years – the famous “seventy weeks of years” prophecy.
Gabriel told Daniel:
As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you… Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people… Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens’ (Daniel 9:23-25).
It was about 483 years (seven sevens and then sixty-two sevens) between this prophecy given to Daniel by Gabriel until the Messiah came, the crucifixion/resurrection, and Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D.
The last week (v. 27) of the seventy sevens lapses until the very end of history – to the seven-year tribulation before the Millennium (Revelation 20).
This week approaches quickly.
Before the final trumpet and the rapture of the church, there will be a great revival and the gospel preached to all people (James 5:7 and Matthew 24:14)
God will use Daniels – or you and me – and our “greatest prayers ever” in the next few years.
Quickly come, Lord Jesus.