Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Daniel 9:1-19: A Model Prayer

The Tanakh is full examples to help us to pray and live better lives, to be disciples. Our discipleship brings us to the point where we understand what it truly means to be a disciple.  The little passage in 1 or 2 Timothy, when it is describing what the scriptures are and can do, is referring specifically to the Tanakh, or Old Testament.

We find a marvelous prayer here by Daniel:

Let us note, that Daniel begins his prayer by fasting.

Then he addresses God as the Awesome God who keeps his covenant, recognising who God is.

Next, he describes who we are, we and our ancestors, who have sinned continually against God.

He describes the punishments that God has sent, and asks for God's help, not because there is any reason to forgive us, but because God is merciful

And God answers his prayer.

If we truly want to be disciples,  we need to start with fasting.  The western church forgets fasting more and more every year.  The church  needs to return to regular fasting, and the church needs to return to acknowledging sin. We need to aknowledge our sin of sex outside of marriage and divorce.  We must acknowledge our failure in helping our children to be disciples and in not managing our personal and corporate resources in ways that promote the kingdom.  Sometimes we lock all this in at Lent and forget to do it the rest of the years.  We finish, not because of who we are, but because of who God is, full of mercy, not looking at our sins, but looking at the spilt blood of Messiah.  And if we pray single mindedly as James tells us, with the mind of Messiah, he will answer our prayers.