15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly!
16 “O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us.
17 Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate.
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 do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.
19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”
|As Daniel thought about God's plan for his people, he realized first that God's people were not in the right spiritual condition to face the long journey back to Jerusalem. The journey would only be part of the testing. They would be exchanging the plenty of Babylon for the poverty of Jerusalem. They would have to give up the ease of the East for the hard work of the West.
Daniel was thrilled at what was going to happen. He might not be able to share in the return but the burden of prayer weighed heavily on him. It resulted in this remarkable confession in which he identified himself with Israel and its shortcomings.
Notice the humility and intensity of his prayer. Read v.3 again. This man was Number One in the government next to King Darius. His life was blameless. Even his enemies could find no fault in him. Yet he included himself as he confessed the sins of the people.
God heard his prayer (v.21) and a whole new revelation was given to him. Two years later God did exactly what He had promised and took the people back to the land of Israel. However, it was not under the leadership of Daniel but of Ezra and Zerubbabel.
We are always wanting God to work. We often long to see more blessings. Why doesn't God do what we ask Him and why doesn't He do it now?
It could be that we are not ready. There may be things that need to be put right. There may be things that need to be confessed. It may not quite be God's time. But if we are in earnest, if we are willing to face up to what God wants to do in us and through us, there could be no end to the blessing He is waiting to pour out.
Revival has been defined as "the renewing of the first love among God's people, resulting in the awakening and conversions of sinners." Isn't that what we need?