In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes… Daniel 9:2-3 NIV
Prayerlessness is the eventual condition of me focused Christianity. James reminds us that we
ask with wrong motives, that we may spend what we get on our pleasures.
In due course, because God refuses to answer our childish prayers, we soon give up thinking that prayer doesn’t work. The cure for this cold spiritual state is found in one of the richest prayers ever penned in Scripture by one of history’s greatest prayer warriors – the prophet Daniel. Stew on Daniel 9 for a few minutes to catch the flavor of the prayer…
The meat of this prayer is the Word of God. Daniel must have been reading Jeremiah 29:10 where God promises to restore the Jews to the land 70 years after their captivity in Babylon.
As Daniel gathers up the energy of God’s glory, he then steps back and confesses with great detail the sin and short-comings that put his people in bondage. Next, with laser-like focus, he appeals to God’s nature (loving, merciful) in full view of the promise He made in Jeremiah.
Daniel prayed for what HE KNEW God was about to do. The fact is, if we know what God is going to do, and pray for that, we can be confident that He will answer with perfect timing. Laser prayers (unlike general bless all the hungry people of the world type prayers) bring specific glory to God because their result is measureable.
So let’s practice!
Christ told his followers to make disciples of all ethnic groups. He also told us that the end would come AFTER all the nations (ethne) had heard. He asked us to
pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers.
We know that all the nations will be represented around the throne of the Lamb in the last day (Revelation 5:9, 7:9).
Yet, right in the middle of the country of Iran in the Esfahan Province is a small group of people known as the Natanzi, who number less than 9,000. Currently, there’s not a single verse of Scripture in their language, no churches, nor any know person of Natanzi origin who praises Christ as Lord.
Iran actively persecutes Christians, yet despite persecution, there are several insider movements toward Christ among certain Persian peoples. But as far as we know, the Natanzi live in complete spiritual darkness.
DO WHAT DANIEL DID!!! Pray (using Daniel’s model) and focus a LASER of prayer on the Natanzi people. THEY WILL BE REACHED! Pray as if YOUR PRAYERS were the key to unlock God’s answer for them.
Father, I know YOU want the Natanzi to be a part of the Great Marriage Feast of Your Son! It is fixed in your nature to leave the 99 and go after the 1 that is lost. As my friends and I pray for this people in darkness, break through with Your focused light of truth IN THEIR LANGUAGE. Raise up the right person(s) for the job. Do this, not because we are righteous or deserving, but rather, for Your Name’s Sake, for You promised that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea”.
Let the Nations be Glad by John Piper
© 2014 by Timothy Shawn Hanauer. All rights reserved.
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