Daniel's Prayer And The Divine Revelation

By Johnny Tatum



Daniel 9

1 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 desolation of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.

This scene takes place during the captivity of the Israelites in Babylon.

Daniel had been reading Jeremiah and he read the captivity was to last for 70 years:

"'This whole land shall be a desolation and a horror, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then it will be when seventy years are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation,' declares the Lord, 'for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it an everlasting desolation. I will bring upon that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book which Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations.'" (Jeremiah 25:11-12)

"For thus says the Lord, 'When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.'" (Jeremiah 29:10)

One thing Daniel did not understand was at what point did that countdown begin, because there was not just one conquering of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar. Instead, it had come in waves.

If the Lord God started with the first, second or third conquest by Nebuchadnezzar, then the completion of the desolation was 64 years, 65 years or 67 years respectively. Therefore, Daniel did not know if the end of the captivity was five, four or three years away.


Daniel does ask the Lord God to restore the Israelites. However, that is not how he begins his prayer; instead, he begins…

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,"

What is the point of saying these things? Is it to get the Lord God in a good mood?

Daniel is saying the things that he knows will happen; therefore, his mind is tuned into listening to God.




I bought a video cassette recorder (VCR) back in the 1980s. The VCRs of that day operated differently than they do today. I had to tune in each channel by turning on the television and positioning the tuner correctly for each channel. Then I went into the VCR control box, opened it up for each channel, turned a wheel, and tuned it until I got a clear picture. Finally, the picture from the television perfectly matched the picture coming through the VCR control box.

Application: That is similar to what we do in prayer. We already have the television set, the antenna, and we are plugged in, but we may not be on the correct channel with God.

Question: How Do We Get On The Correct Channel With God?


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."

Daniel is saying things that are truth.

It is striking what he is saying in verse 5 We have turned aside from Your commandments and ordinances. That was not specifically true of Daniel. Though he was a sinner, he had not rebelled and turned aside from God's commandments. Conversely, he had listened to the prophets.

He says we because:

Daniel is identifying himself with his people.




In Daniel 6:1-28, we see Daniel in the lion's den. Daniel was cast into a pit where the lion was his enemy, but he came out of the pit alive — a picture of:

Messiah Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected (He came out of the grave alive).

Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brothers. When He was on earth as a man, He was not ashamed to say We, meaning:

God the Son left heaven, came to earth, and took on a human body (flesh) — Jesus of Nazareth.

He identified Himself together with us in this sin problem.

Our sins were put upon Jesus, and He bore the punishment for our sins in His own body while He was on the Cross. Jesus arose from the dead, proving He is God, and ascended into heaven where He sits on the throne, once again, at the right hand of God the Father.

How do I identify with Messiah Jesus? Simply acknowledge to the Lord God:

I confess I am a sinner and I deserve to go to hell because of my sins. But I believe that when Messiah Jesus died on the Cross, He was paying the penalty for my sin. And when Messiah Jesus arose from the dead again, He rose to give me eternal life.

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvationhaving also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise. (Ephesians 1:13)


17 "So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary."

The Temple in Jerusalem is the desolate sanctuary about which he is referring. It was desolate because the sons of Israel were exiled out of the Land to Babylon.

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 presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion."

This is a great verse, because we know:

We cannot ask God for anything based on our own merit.

It would appear to us that Daniel could because he was definitely an upstanding and godly person. However, even Daniel could not go to God on his own merits.

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."

Daniel's prayers were intended to leverage the world. His prayers were on a global basis. The reason he had these mighty prayers is that they were on a much higher and broader level than the prayers of most believers. We tend to say:

Do this for me.

We even say:

Thank You for doing this for Me. Me. Me. Help me!

A lot of that is normal and should be prayed. But how often do our prayers reach the level that Daniel's prayer did?

Daniel prayed on a global scale, and that is reflected in the way he prayed.

The reason we tend not to pray on a global scale is, naturally, we wonder What will that do for me if I pray that way? Why should I pray on a global scale the way that Daniel did? Why? Because:

It benefits me!


A Picture To Remember:


Picture praying on a global scale as if God's will is on a ship, and He is steering that ship through the water. This represents His global will (cosmic, world things that He is doing). And we are identified with Messiah Jesus, so certainly we are in that ship.

Picture Of: Being in His will — we are part of His plan.


Question: What Are The Benefits Of Praying For The Bigger Issues?

  1. It comes back to the believer's benefit.
  2. If a believer is praying about the correct direction of that ship, then they are also praying that their part in all of this is correct too. If the ship is in the correct place, then by definition, the believer is in the right place.

    Paul tells believers to pray for things in the world—

    First of all, then, I urge that entreaties, prayers, petitions and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all men. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

    Why? It will come back to their benefit.

  3. It transforms the believer's mind.
  4. Praying for the bigger issues focuses on the big picture and on what God is doing. Keep in mind whatever enhances the big picture enhances the believer, because they are in the picture with Messiah Jesus.

  5. It helps the believer to let go of their private concerns and focus on God's concerns.

Believers come out ahead because they are of prime concern to the Lord God.



Daniel's prayer is not one to get, because God has already given. It is:

A Prayer To Understand

God does not respond to Daniel's prayer by saying Since you prayed correctly, I will give you what you want.

Sometimes we hear on the radio or read in books something similar to that. Basically, we are [incorrectly] taught the following:

Conversely, we are told:


This is performance based praying, which is of no benefit!



Daniel 9 and 10, Part 3: Daniel's Prayer Answered — Jesus' Triumphal Entry

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