Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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Moving Heaven and Earth Through Prayer

Daniel 9.1-19

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[Illustration - A newlywed husband came home from work one day to find his wife sitting very still in the kitchen. It was plain to see that preparations for dinner were well under way and were sitting on the counter top. But the wife was just sitting there, very still. The husband walked in and asked, "Honey, is everything O.K.?" "Sure, why do you ask?" "Well, you are sitting so motionless I thought something was the matter." "No, I am just doing what the recipe for dinner says in this book. See, it says right here, `Do not stir for fifteen minutes.'" It is apparent this young wife had not learned to cook as yet. But her recipe book had good instructions for all of us when related to our spiritual lives. Everyday we need time to sit still, and not to stir! We need a quiet time with God, a prayer time with the Heavenly Father.] 

[Read Text:] 

[Illustration - We ought to be like the little girl who was upstairs getting ready to pray. She called out to her family, "O.K., I'm fixing to pray, anybody want anything?" Now that is confidence!] 

[Daniel was a man that evidenced powerful prayer.  Daniel literally moved heaven and earth through prayer.  Something about Daniel and prayer moved God to bring all of heaven’s authority and power to bear.  As the old song said, "when mama prayed all of heaven paid attention.  Well, when Daniel prayed all of heaven and earth were moved.] 

Notice three things about Daniel in prayer that moved God: 

A.     Prayer was Serious for Daniel (vs 3). 

1.      He came as a Steward to God (vs 3) [- "I set my face unto the Lord God . . .” - We must come into God's presence in prayer recognizing who it is that we approach when we come.  Daniel realized that his current provision and future blessings were all resourced by and from Almighty God.  There are many in life who rather envision God and their steward and protector instead of realizing the everything they possess including their mental faculties come from the sovereign of he universe.] 

a.       [Dr. Forrest Fezzor preceded prayer once, at a Gardner Webb University football game by saying, "Close your eyes. Now, imagine yourself on a journey with me. Imagine yourself rising up above this great stadium. See yourself rising up through the atmosphere, up through the clouds and beyond. Imagine yourself passing by the eagles, way on up through the sky. Now, imagine yourself coming to the great pearl gates and see them opening before you. Now see the golden street spanning out before you. You float down the golden avenue and, at last, you come to a golden throne upon which is seated the Lord of glory. Now, imagine yourself getting on your knees before the Lord." Then, he started to pray to the Lord.] 

2.      He came Seeking and requesting of God (vs 3; Luke 11.9-13) [- ". . . to seek by prayer and supplications.” – Our Lord and Savior reminds us that, ]

[Luke 11:9-13 9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?]

[Our Heavenly Father loves to give to His faithful Children.  He loves to give more than we like to receive.  Daniel realized that if Israel were going to receive the deliverance they needed they were going to have to seek it form the only one able to provide it.] 

3.      He came Surrendering himself to God (vs 3) [- ". . . with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.” – These were Demonstrations of Daniels unworthiness.  To many in our day try to come proudly into the presence of God.  We refuse to bow because, when it comes right down to it, we expect God to do the bowing.   We do not come in true recognition of the greatness, glory, and holiness of God.  People do not surrender to God because they somehow assume that God owes them something.] 

[To set ones face – This phrase most likely means that Daniel knelt and then bowed with his head to the ground in a direction that likely point toward Jerusalem and the mount of the Temple.  We see Daniels posture in prayer in, 

[Daniel 6:10 10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. ]

[When Elijah prayed we discover that,] 

[1 Kings 18:42 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,]

[When our Lord Prayed the Bible states,] 

[Matthew 26:39 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.]

[Jesus had never sinned, he never needed anything, he was never sick, and yet when He came in prayer to our Heavenly Father He humbled himself.] 

[Each of these postures in prayer were all outward expression of a deep inward surrender or submission.  Do not think that the posture will make up for the failure to truly recognize the holiness and worthiness of God.  But I wonder how one can truly recognize the stately sovereignty of Almighty God without bowing before Him.] 

B.     Prayer was a Surveying for Daniel (vs 4-18) 

1.      Daniel started with Confession (vs 4-8)  [- And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, . . . – Confession is the starting point of all real prayer.  To approach Almighty God is to attempt to approach His throne in the midst of the defilement of our sin. God is absolutely holy and pure and those who would come into His presence must come having been purified through the blood of the precious Lamb of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Our purification comes through sincere confession.  The Bible states:] 

[1 John 1:9 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ]

[Notice contents of Daniels confession and let His example teach us to:]  

[Daniel compared Israel to the greatness of God and:

a.      [Identified Israel’s Rebellion (vs 4-5) [- . . . Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; 5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: 6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 

b.      [Recognized Israel’s Consequences (vs 7-8)  7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. 8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.  

[The human tendency is to defend oneself, to somehow excuse our sins and act as though the just consequences for our sins are not deserved.  But Daniel demonstrates that recognition of our transgression and the justice they rightly demand is an essential element of any godly confession.] 

2.      Daniel continued with Contrition (vs 9-13) [-  To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; 10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. . . .   12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. – In his prayer Daniel admitted that Israel had continuously failed to seek God and to repent.  The priests and prophets had continued to excuse the sins of the people.  Israel had failed to seek after God with a willingness to understand and be changed by the truth’s contained in God’s word.] 

[When God’s people come to God they need to come with willing hearts that will hear and heed God’s Word.  If there are sins in our hearts we must be willing to turn from those sins and surrender our lives to God.  What marks a heart truly surrendered to God? Transformation and renewal.] 

3.      Daniel concluded with Condescension (vs 14-18; Isa 64.6) [ Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. 18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. – The sense of condescension in Daniels prayer is not the sense in which he would attempt to lower God, but instead it is in the sense that Daniel lowers himself and all Israel in the presence of God.  This is a willing humility before God.] 

[Daniels willingly admits that He and Israel have nothing to offer to purchase or merit God’s benevolent goodness.  Therefore Daniel’s only hope in this fervent prayer is to lay himself and his nation in the benevolent and merciful hands of God.] 

[Those who come to Almighty God from a state of rebellion and hard heartedness must learn to come without the claim of merit of the crutch of some assumed reward of righteousness.  Instead we must realize that, 

[Isaiah 64:6 6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.]

[Rebellious and sinful people are not worthy of God’s forgivness and will never find spiritual cleansing through a sense of prepayment, but will find forgiveness full and free for all who will lower themselves in the presence of their Heavenly Father and receive from Him that which they do not deserve.] 

C.     Prayer was Salvation to Daniel 

1.      A Fervent Supplication (vs 19-20, James 5.16) [- 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name. 20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; - EM Bounds once wrote something to the effect of, the only real evidence of powerful praying is powerful answers to your prayers.  God has told us through His Word,] 

[James 5:16 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.]

[ Psalms 34:18 18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.]

[We sense through Daniels words the magnitude of his sincerity.  We hear his heart and understand, at least in part, the depth of Daniels humility.  Daniel is lost in God and utterly hopeless without the mighty hand of God.  What deliverance could there be?  What hope is there for Israel?  No prayer has prevailed yet?] 

[But Daniel was doing business with God.  Daniel has heralded his way right into the very throne room of God in prayer, and there he is found pleading, confessing, and praying before his Heavenly Father.] 

[My dear Christian, don’t you know that your access to the throne room of your Heavenly Father is by far more guaranteed than Daniels.  The New Testament records,] 

[Hebrews 4:14-16 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. ]

2.      Brings Faithful Supply (vs 21-22) [- 21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. – Can you imagine!  While Daniel is praying there is a touch on his shoulder and who does Daniel see, but Gabriel the arch angel.  What does the Word of God say?] 

[Psalms 34:7 7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. ]

[Your Heavenly Father is for you my Christian friend.  Almighty God is just waiting for you to call out to Him.  He waits to hear your sincere, surrendered, and yielded plea.  But will you pray, and hear, and heed?]



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