HOW TO KNOW GOD AND THAT HE IS DELIVERING YOU
The message last Sunday at Saddleback Church was one of the best authoritative sermons on prayer I’ve ever heard. I get to receive Pastor Rick Warren’s excellent presentations with their Saddleback App. The reception is dependant upon the weather, and my faith in hearing the Holy Spirit impress me with a leading to attend.
Also, Friday, at our favorite craft store, I saw Anne Graham Lotz’ book, The Daniel Prayer, ‘Prayer that moves heaven and changes nations’, describes her experience using the same text. Her story is something we want to read! Her personal stories we can easily relate with, knowing and loving her. [I linked it to Amazon.com, so you might see it too.]
My past most recent post on prayer by pastor Rick was in August also about the prophet Daniel at age 15. Last Sunday was about Daniel at age 85. (WordPress.com link) Seventy years were significant because of the period Israel was actually in exile under Babylonian rule. [Link is for ‘Overcoming Impossible Demands, 8-26-16]
My question this week was, how did Daniel know about the limit of 70 years? “He was acquainted with Jeremiah . . .”
(I looked in my chronological bible and found where Jeremiah’s prophecy was written in Jerusalem and given to Daniel before Nebuchadnezzar captured them and brought them both to Babylon. . .a study text and context for another time.)
SIX POINTS TO HEAR FROM GOD
Jeremiah chapter 9, we can find six clues to learn how to get answers from our Heavenly Father:
1. LET GOD SPEAK TO YOU (LISTEN)
Texts: Daniel 9:1,2 (John 15:7, Jeremiah 29:10-12; James 4:2) “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the books the number of years which, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the desolations [which had been] pronounced on Jerusalem would end; and it was seventy years.”
“God always makes the first move. We pray because he gave us his promises. I learn from God’s word. The apostle John tells us about God’s blank check. The context of Daniel 9 is the Torah that says, “If you stay connected to me, and my words stay in your mind, ask anything. (A blank check)” Pastor Rick said.
[“34 Days of seeking God” is Saddleback’s teaching for next year. Sign up by November 21. Six thousand have signed up with Pastor Tom’s (Holliday) Daily Hope.]
“When you pray, God will listen. Two factors apply, our praying, and God’s timing. Man’s responsibility and recognizing God’s sovereignty. [How do we know we are waiting on God, or He is waiting on us?] We have not because we ask not.”
2. FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ON GOD
Text: Daniel 9:3 (Amos 5:4, Proverbs 8:17; Jeremiah 29:13, #unshakablelife, Hebrews 11:6, Hosea 5:15-6:1, Luke 12:31)
“So I directed my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.”(AMP)
“So I gave my attention to God. (NIV) I turned my face to God–seeking Him, find Him, He is #unshakable.” Rick told of how when his wife calls him, he physically has to turn his face toward her, and she knows she has his attention. And he put both hands flat on the sides of his face, and slowly turned his head, as if forcing it to turn. (Audience laughed.)
3. EXPRESS YOUR DESIRES WITH EMOTION
Text: Daniel 9:3b, (Jeremian 50:4b-5a) “3 So I directed my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.”
“God feels very deeply for you–only look at the cross. . .express all your feelings! Emotionally means anger, sadness, happiness, joyfulness–earnestly pleading–loudly, intense; I poured out my heart, baring my soul, I cried out to God!” Ask the way home. . .[don’t tweet, weep!]
4. DEMONSTRATE YOUR SERIOUSNESS
Text: Daniel 9:3c, “So I directed my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. Even for 34 days to Monday of Thanksgiving Week–fast, wear rough clothes, put ash on your face.”
5. BE THANKFUL FOR GOD’S ANSWER
Text: Daniel 9:4-9 “I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said,
“O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and extends lovingkindness toward those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed wrong, and have behaved wickedly and have rebelled, turning away from Your commandments and ordinances.
“Further, we have not listened to and heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
“Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us confusion and open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away, in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the treacherous acts of unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.
“O Lord, to us belong confusion and open shame—to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers—because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and lovingkindness and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him.”
6. HUMBLY CONFESS SIN TO OPEN WINDOW (OF HEAVEN)
Text: Daniel 9:10, “And we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in His laws which He set before us through His servants the prophets.”
Daniel 9:13-14, 16, 18 “Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this tragedy has come on us. Yet we have not wholeheartedly begged for forgiveness and sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our wickedness and paying attention to and placing value in Your truth.
“Therefore the Lord has kept the tragedy ready and has brought it on us, for the Lord our God is uncompromisingly righteous and openly just in all His works which He does—He keeps His word; and we have not obeyed His voice. O Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous and just acts, please let Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain.
“Because of our sins and the wickedness of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become an object of scorn and a contemptuous byword to all who are around us.
“O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and look at our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You because of our own merits and righteousness, but because of Your great mercy and compassion.”
“No pride, but humble confession–humility opens the windows of heaven. Admit: Spiritual adultery . . . That we ignored You . . . We kept on sinning . . . We sought all nation’s desires.” Pastor said.
2 Chronicles 7:14 Promise: The context is prayer God will answer — all elements of Daniel’s prayer included. Pastor prayed for all the church, and then all the church (audience) is led in prayer for our nation.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Today, as we were riding to the Earth Fare store, where we were to fill up our water bottles (our water run) I heard these words in my spirit: “If the prayer of a ministry is given to you, and you receive it and pray its words; then you are partnering with them and their mission, and need to openly subscribe and support that ministry.”
I remembered to record that word, go to their website and subscribe. [Ransomed Heart Ministries]
If you have gotten anything from this humble post, (my notes are sketchy, except for the texts are accurate) Be obedient to God in this posting. He is real. God is really good! You can trust him completely. He wants to show himself perfectly toward you, if you will let him.
Expanded Daily Prayer, Promised Soil Blog