“So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands.” Daniel 9:3-4
There is one thing in our study of Daniel, we realize that he was a man of prayer. Encouraged by his understanding of God’s intention to restore Jerusalem, Daniel now seeks to make adequate preparation to present his confessions and petitions to the Lord. Every possible element of preparation is included. First, he declares, “I set my face unto the Lord God.” This was a formal beginning in which Daniel turns away from other things to concentrate on his prayer to the Lord. The attitude of mind and steadfastness of purpose indicated is now supplemented by prayer and supplications, that is, prayer in general and petition specifically. This is accompanied by every known auxiliary aid to prayer: namely, fasting, that he might not be diverted from prayer by food; sackcloth, a putting aside of ordinary garments in favor of rough cloth. In a word, Daniel left nothing undone that might possibly make his prayer more effective or more persuasive.
Effective prayer requires faith in the Word of God, proper attitude of mind and heart, privacy, and unhurried confession and petition. Daniel’s humility, reverence, and earnestness are the hallmarks of effective prayer. In beginning his prayer to the Lord, Daniel relies upon the fact that the majesty of God’s person and the greatness of His power are manifested especially in His fulfilling His covenant promises and manifesting mercy to those who love Him and keep His commandments. In Daniel’s prayer we see a love for his people. Daniel is assured of the greatness of God and the goodness of God. His problem is that the children of Israel have sinned, broken their covenant, and have made themselves liable to the divine judgment which the faithfulness of God must inflict according to His promises. Daniel’s prayer is a beautiful example of obedience.
I have learned so much as I have studied Daniel. Here in this chapter, Daniel received an answer to his prayer in the book of Jeremiah and he believed that God was going to release Israel from captivity, but Daniel starts to pray. When we receive our answer to our prayers, we stop praying, but Daniel went to God with prayer and praise.