Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
December 12 Scripture Selection: Daniel 9-10
Food for Thought: Dan. 9:18
Daniel’s intercession for Jerusalem and repentance for the iniquities of the people is very moving, so moving that we may feel inclined to use the very same words as we pray for our people. However, though in some ways quite similar, there’s an even better way now.
Daniel prayed from the standpoint of the old covenant in which punishment for iniquities and rebellions were to be expected and the rebellious people got what they deserved. Now, however, the foundation by which we have faith and pray is established on the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the entire world, past, present, and future. The new covenant would not be dependent on the obedience of the population, but on the obedience of one man, Jesus (Rom. 5:19). Though sin always brings about a wretched condition, it would not ever again be due to the wrath of God poured out on man, but due to the inherent consequences of exposing oneself to the one who comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Thankfully, no longer is mankind required to pay for their sins, and therefore, our perspective as we pray is quite different from Daniel’s.
Still, one thing remains constant: the Lord’s great mercies which never fail. Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Joel 2:32; Rom. 10:13). However, there’s no need to beg for mercy; the Lord gladly bestows it on us. And it won’t be due to one’s own righteousness or self-infliction to demonstrate remorse and penance for one’s sins. Salvation for any situation, referring to a current situation as well as the salvation of one’s soul for eternity, is provided because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ and His love for the whole world.
There is yet one more element regarding intercession for our people that one must consider: Jesus is already making intercession (Heb. 7:25), and His blood remains on the mercy seat to continuously cleanse us from all sin (see I John 1:7; Rom. 5:9; Heb. 9:12, 24-26). So any prayers that we make on our own behalf or on the behalf of our nation must take into consideration that we are only coming into agreement with the will of God for all mankind, acknowledging His righteousness and everlasting mercy for us. He wants to save us even more than we ourselves do.
Prayer does, indeed, work, and the Lord is glad that our mouths would be used as His instruments. So keep praying. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much, especially when, and because, his words join in faith with the Lord’s (James 5:16).
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):