Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry - Ephesians 4:12

Daniel’s Plea for a Nation

There are many disturbing issues going on around the world. Earthquakes, tornados and hurricanes affect us ecologically while political issues influence our human rights. Unfortunately, our eyes have turned from a merciful God who can turn things around. A God who gave us a nation where His name is freely glorified. The Book of Daniel makes it clear why repentance is as necessary for a nation as it is for an individual.

Daniel 9:3 – “Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.”

Daniel prayed for the nation of Israel because they had strayed from God. It was prophesied by Jeremiah that this nation of people would not be allowed to return to their beloved country Jerusalem for seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11-12, Jeremiah 29:10). As the time of the seventy years approached its end Daniel prayed for the people and the nation. The prayer was not one of commands to God, but repentance.

For the behavior of the people, Israel, had turned from God and led themselves down their own path of ruin. They chose a path of destruction instead of honoring God and being granted peace. They became pitied among other nations. They became a nation that couldn’t even follow the requests of their own God. Their pride kept their repentance at bay as they sought even more iniquity to calm the tormenting spirits in their minds.

So Daniel prayed. He repented of his own sins and the sins of this nation, Jerusalem. He realized that without repentance – without sorrowful, remorseful, regret, God would not hear his prayers. He knew to blame others for their actions would not turn God’s ear. He knew his own heart must first be examined. As He opened up his heart to God he asked for Him to reveal His Will.

Before Daniel, the angel Gabriel came with an answer to his prayers. The angel responded to him by telling Daniel that as soon as he prayed an answer was given. As soon as Daniel prayed, God heard and responded.

Did you know politicians used to pray before making a decision? They sought God first. The political and humanistic issues of today are a result of a nation too prideful to turn away from their own priorities and obey God. They seek the opinions of others and for the sake of a vote they cast God aside.

As a nation we have proven that we are able to provide when a need arises. What we have lost is turning to God first and repenting of our own agendas. This is not a time to be pointing fingers. It is not a time to allow ground to be taken over by the enemy as we neglect the one true God whom this nation was founded upon. God doesn’t cause the calamity of ecological disasters, neither does man. But He will use it for His good as people cry out to him for mercy.

Daniel prayed for the people, not just himself. God heard his prayers and He delivered on his promise to the world, making salvation available to all. This was all because someone cared enough about a nation to pray. A humble heart before a mighty God can ripple through a nation causing others to bend their knee also.

Jeremiah 29:12-14 – “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity.”

In 2004, Lea Bates answered the call to begin a women's prison ministry and in 2007 helped pioneer a drug and alcohol regeneration center for women. She is an ordained minister living in Georgia. Lea's first book, “Before I Knew You," is available in paperback through Lulu.com.