December 18, 2022 – Pastor Mark Albrecht
Message Big Idea – In Daniel 9, we witness Daniel responding to God’s promise to return he exiles and rebuild Jerusalem. In doing so, Daniel passionately prays on behalf of all of Judah, confessing collective sin and reminding the Lord of His promises. As Christians, we should also see prayer as our powerful and effective participation in God’s sovereign direction of history.
- Take a moment to reflect (if you are going through this on your own) or share (if you are with others in a group setting): What are you grateful for today? What are you struggling with today?
- Share a little about your prayer life. What does it look like on a daily basis.
- Read Daniel 9 (Read twice – ESV and either NLT or Message)
- Go around the group and briefly retell the passage in your own words.
- What word or phrase “jumped off the page” and intrigued you the most? Why?
- Take a moment to examine your broader cultural context, namely America. Do we have a positive perception of humility and contriteness? Are we more individually or collectively focused? How does that compare with what you see in Daniel 9?
- How do you think most Christians view prayer? Is it mostly internally transformative or does it have an external effect?
- Reflect on your personal view of prayer. Consider how we can hold to the following truths: prayer is powerful and effective (James 5:16-17) and God does not change His mind (Numbers 23:19). Do you favor one truth over the other? How does this impact your prayer life?
- Consider how Daniel took on and confessed the corporate sin of Judah, saying “we have sinned and don wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled” (Dan. 9:5). Moreover, he humbled himself “with fasting and sackcloth and ashes” (Dan. 9:3). How comfortable are you with repenting and confessing corporate sin? In what ways could you humble yourself on behalf of a larger group to petition God?
- Daniel constantly reminds God of His righteousness and His promises (9:16-19). How often do you pray in this way? What promises could you plead for? What aspects of God’s nature could you cry out to?
Live It Out:
- What is one thing God seems to be asking you to do in response to this passage? (i.e., “I will ….”)
- Who can you tell about this “I will” statement in the next 48 hours?
- Journal about your time in God’s Word this week. Stop to listen to what He might be telling you. Celebrate His presence through His Word!
- Spend some time applying the takeaways from this week’s message. Pray in a humble and contrite manner, confessing the corporate sin of the Church, the nation, and the world. Plead with the Lord to fulfill His promises according to His righteousness and His great mercy. Petition Jesus to return quickly so that we may experience perfect communion with Him and His people. Amen!