When I think of prayers of repentance I recall the prayer Daniel offered up in Daniel chapter 9. Daniel was seeking the LORD for insight and understanding on the prophecy in Jeremiah regarding when the captivity would end in Babylon. Many of us probably have pondered when our own captivity would end.
Daniel displays an interesting protocol when petitioning The Almighty. He details that he sought the LORD by prayer and supplication with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.
It’s interesting that Daniel chooses to humble himself three different ways here to bring himself before the LORD.
Now that the table is set, Daniel is ready to begin protocol. First, he praises the LORD by stating how great and awesome He is for keeping covenant with lovingkindness to those who love Him and keep His commandments. Next Daniel confesses on behalf of the entire nation for they have sinned, committed iniquity and acted wickedly against the LORD. The nation has rebelled and turned aside from His commandments and ordinances. Daniel goes on to state Israel has not listened to the LORD’s prophets who spoke to Israel’s kings, princes, fathers and people.
Daniel acknowledges righteousness belongs to the LORD. Open shame belongs to Israel in all the places He has scattered them for the rebellion and unfaithful deeds they have committed against the LORD.
Daniel continues, according to the Torah, a curse will be poured out upon Israel for choosing sin, rebellion, disobedience and turning aside from the Word of the LORD. Great calamity is a result of turning away from Torah, the foundation
of all matter.
Daniel also acknowledges compassion, forgiveness and blessings belong to the LORD. He pours these blessings upon those who turn away from sin, iniquity and transgression.
Now comes the amazing part, Daniel realizes that the LORD is righteous in keeping the calamity in store for the disobedient. The LORD is righteous in administrating punishment because He is doing what He has promised. The LORD is keeping His oath.
Following protocol, Daniel asks the LORD to turn from His wrath because He alone is righteous. He asks the Almighty, listen to this, “shama” his prayer, to incline His ear and “shema”. Daniel asks the LORD to open His eyes and look and see the condition of His people. Oh LORD “SHEMA”, Oh LORD forgive, take action and do not delay, because we are called by your name is Daniel’s plea.
Do you see the protocol Daniel took to ask for insight? Many of us would just simply say, Oh LORD please give me insight and wisdom to understand your prophecy. Daniel followed a protocol for petitioning the Almighty.
Daniel’s prayer protocol is so moving to the LORD that He immediately, while Daniel is still praying, sends the Angel Gabriel.
Another interesting note is that Daniel understood the protocol of what time of day to make the petition, notice in verse 21 it states that it was about the time of the evening offering. Wow, that is the 3 pm time.
Perhaps we should consider Daniel’s protocol when approaching God Most High. The LORD was so pleased with Daniel’s prayer that an answer to his request was dispatched before his prayer was finished.
Gabriel says that Daniel is “highly esteemed.” Daniel was assured that the insight and understanding he sought would be granted.
During the 40 days of repentance may we keep Daniel’s prayer protocol in mind when we approach The Creator of heaven and earth, the King of Kings and the LORD of LORDS.
Mark and Polly Webb