Becoming people of prayer

In Jeremiah 5, God pleaded, “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem…seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it” (Jeremiah 5:1). The Lord was saying, in essence, “I’ll be merciful, if I can find just one person who’ll seek me.”

During the Babylonian captivity, God found such a man in Daniel. And today, more than ever in history, the Lord is searching for the same kind of godly men and women. He seeks faithful servants who are willing to “make up the hedge” and “stand in the gap,” works that can only be accomplished through prayer.

Like Daniel, such a person will be found with God’s Word in his hand. When the Holy Ghost came to Daniel, the prophet was reading the book of Jeremiah. It was then that the Spirit revealed that God’s time of deliverance had come for Israel. As the revelation came, Daniel was provoked to pray: “I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the Lord my God” (Daniel 9:3–4).

Daniel knew God’s people weren’t ready to receive his restoration. Yet, did the prophet lambaste his peers for their sins? No—Daniel identified himself with the moral decay all around him. He declared, “We have sinned…to us belongeth confusion of face…because we have sinned against thee” (Daniel 9:5, 8).

God strongly desires to bless his people today—but if our minds are polluted with the spirit of this world, we are in no position to receive his blessings. Daniel made this powerful statement: “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 the truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us” (Daniel 9:13–14).

Would to God we would examine our own walk with the Lord and let the Holy Spirit show us areas of compromise. We would do more than pray for a backsliding nation. We would be crying out, “Oh, Lord, search my heart. Expose in me all of the spirit of the world that has crept into my soul.” Like Daniel, we could then set our faces to pray for the deliverance of our families—our nation.


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