“O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for Your Own sake, O my God. . .”

Daniel 9:19a

     If you’re ever going to pray, confess your sins unto God and turn from them, do it now.

     Heartfelt prayers are fervent prayers.  They are passionate pleas that arise from the depths of the soul.  Like Isaiah’s confession, they are rooted in a consciousness of God’s Holiness and a conviction of our sinfulness:  “Woe is me!  For I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips and dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips—for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts” (Is. 6:5).


     Daniel’s writings, which are filled with both “forth-telling” (prophecies of that which is soon to happen) and “foretelling” (that which is still yet to be), are sobering to be sure.  No serious- minded child of God can read them without feeling the way he did:  “As for me, Daniel, my cogitations (Heb. ‘ra ‘yown’—‘mental conception, grasp of things, meditations, ponderings, vexation of spirit, etc.’) much troubled me and my countenance changed in me. . .And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick certain days. . .I was astonished at the Vision, but none understood it” (Dan. 7:28; 8:27).


     Prior to the “shaking of dry bones in our Death Valley” (Ez. 37:7) and “the shaking of the Place when Holy Spirit comes in power” (Acts 2:1-2; 4:29-31), there will always be a trembling because of Who God is and what we are/aren’t.  This is further accentuated by the condition of those around us—our family, business associates, fellow church members, community, state, nation, the world, etc.


     And, it is this awareness and realizing of the coming Judgment that causes us to cry out as Daniel did “O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not for Your own sake, O my God.”


     Take some time and read Daniel’s personal and corporate confession preceding our Manna in vv.3-18.  Does that sound relevant and applicable for us today?  Why, it’s like he was reading the headlines from our daily newspaper. . .or eavesdropping upon our conversations. . .or watching what we do in secret.


     Sin is the same wherever we find it, Pilgrim.

     And human nature and sinful rebellion against God never changes.

     That’s why we need to pray as Daniel did.  Don’t wait for the preacher to do it.  Don’t wait for someone else to take the lead.  Revival begins in you.  And, it begins in me.  As the ‘ole Negro spiritual so aptly said, “It’s me, it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.  It’s me, it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.  Not my sister, not my brother, but it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”


     There’s no better time or place than right now to start.  Stop what you’re doing even now, kneel by your chair or bed.  And, begin watering everything around you with red-hot tears of brokenhearted repentance.  God has promised to hear such praying (Ps. 51:17).

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated February 19, 2010

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