Daniel’s prayer takes up over half of the chapter 9 (Daniel 9:3-20). In verse 3 he humbled himself through fasting, and sackcloth and ashes, which was a common way of expressing both humility and submission to the Lord. But his prayer is very powerful and very applicable and beneficial for us in our day. He began with confession and if you and I want to get on praying ground with our heavenly father, we too must begin our prayer with confession of our sin.
Now, our sin as believers doesn’t condemn us to hell because that was already taken care of at Calvary, “there is now therefore no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1). So, your salvation is secure when you trusted Christ as your savior, when you become born again, your salvation is secure in Christ.
But, what our sin does as a believer, it separates us from the close relationship with himself that He wants us to have. Isaiah 59:1-2 says, “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” It’s not a matter of that He cannot hear, it’s a matter of He chooses not to hear when God’s children have unconfessed sin in their lives. That’s why one of the very first things Jesus taught the disciples when He gave them the Lord’s prayer in Luke 11 was to pray, “Lord forgive us our sin.” That’s why 1 John 1:9 is so vital to the life of the believer, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Many people think that 1 John 1:9 is irrelevant to God’s people, it’s irrelevant as far as salvation, because once we trust Christ we are saved, but it is not irrelevant as far as having a good close relationship with your Heavenly Father. The believer must kneel before his God and must confess the sin to have that good close relationship. Unconfessed sin in the heart and life of a believer hinders our relationship, it hinders our ability to have prayers answered. As God’s children we must search deep in our heart and get rid of that sin which is hindering our relationship with Him.
But Daniel knew if they were going to be ready as a nation for their second chance, if they were going to be ready as a people to go back to the land and be able to exist then that something needed to be confessing. Daniel chapter 9:5-6 says, “we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.” I like Daniel’s prayer and Daniel’s confession because he certainly didn’t sugar coat anything, he certainly was very specific. By the way, God already knows the sin that we have committed, God already know the things that are hindering our prayers. And true confession is kind of the test of our sincerity, it’s kind of a test of our honesty with our Heavenly Father because He does know. Daniel says, we’ve sinned, we done wickedly, we rebelled and all they did as a nation can be rolled up into one major category and that is this, they simply disobeyed the Word of God. God spoke to them, God gave them very clear instruction about what they have to do in the land as they conquer the land and yet they chose to disobey. He said, “we have turned away from your commands and law.” In verse 6, he says, “we have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name.” He says, we didn’t listen. As you read the entire 17 verses that contain Daniel’s prayer, he confesses over and over, ‘we didn’t obey your voice’, he said several times- ‘we rejected Moses’ law’. He said, we rebelled and not obeyed the voice of God. And everyone of those indicates their disobedience to the Word of God. They heard it in many different forms- they heard it from God’s leaders, they even had early copies of the portions of the Word of God.
We also have with us the complete preserved Word of God, we are privileged to have it, we are privileged to look at it, and study it, and read it anytime we want to. But we also have the same problem as Daniel mentioned, we don’t read it and we don’t obey it. God certainly appreciates it when His children love Him and simply obey what He has told us in His Word. In Daniel 9:21, Gabriel appeared to Daniel again and helped Daniel understand what he read in the book of Jeremiah and answer his prayer. By the way, God will help us understand His Word if we pray and if we ask the Holy Spirit to guide us. One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is to lead us into all truth and He will help us with that.
In Daniel 9:23, Gabriel says, “as soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision.” What he said was, the minute you began to pray, God sent me on this journey to come and bring you the answer to your prayer. He said I was sent with the answer. When we confess our sin and make sure that there is nothing between us and Him, He will answer, even while we are praying. In Isaiah 65:24 Bible says, “Before they call I will answer.” While you are even thinking about praying, as your Spirit is praying prayers of groaning, God is already answering your prayer while you are still praying that prayer. Then Gabriel begins to give Daniel some heavy details about the end time calendar. He speaks of the end times and he use the measurement of weeks. He reveals Daniel that there is a time when Israel’s suffering going to end.
We see that Daniel’s prayer was answered and great details of end time was revealed to him. God answered his prayer and revealed him the future of Israel. First thing Daniel did was confessing the sins, then he asked for forgiveness. If we want our prayers to be answered, then first we have to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness. Not only our prayers will be answered, we will experience a closer relationship with God.