Daniel’s Prayer for the Nation

USflagIt was now the first year of the reign of King Darius, the son of Shasuerus.  (Darius was a Mede but became king of the Chaldeans.) In that first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from the book of Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years.  So I earnestly  pleaded with the Lord God [to end our captivity and send us back to our own land].

As I prayed, I fasted, and wore rough sackcloth, and sprinkled myself with ashes, and confessed my sins and those of my people.

“O Lord,” I prayed, “you are a great and awesome God; you always fulfill your promises of mercy to those who love you and keep your laws.  But we have sinned so much; we have rebelled against you and scorned your commands.  We have refused to listen to your servants the prophets, whom you sent again and again down through the years, with your messages to our kings and princes and to all the people.

O Lord, you are righteous; but as for us, we are always shamefaced with sin, just as you see us now; yes, all of us–the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, and all Israel, scattered near and far wherever you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you.  O Lord, we and our kings and princes and fathers are weighted down with shame because of all our sins.

But the Lord our God is merciful, and pardons even those who have rebelled against him.

O Lord our God, we have disobeyed you; we have flouted all the laws you gave us through your servants, the prophets.  All Israel has disobeyed; we have turned away from you and haven’t listened to your voice.  And so the awesome curse of God has crushed us–the curse written in the law of Moses your servant.  And you have done exactly as you warned us you would do, for never in all history has there been a disaster like what happened at Jerusalem to us and our rulers.  Every curse against us written in the law of Moses has come true; all the evils he predicted–all have come.  But even so we still refuse to satisfy the Lord our God by turning from our sins and doing right.

And so the Lord deliberately crushed us with the calamity he prepared; he is fair in everything he does, but we would not obey.  O Lord our God,  you brought lasting honor to your name by removing your people from Egypt in a great display of power. LORD, DO IT AGAIN! Though we have sinned so much and are full of wickedness, yet because of all your faithful mercies, Lord, please turn away your furious anger from Jerusalem, your own city, your holy mountain.  For the heathen mock at you because your city lies in ruins for our sins.

O our God, hear your servant’s  prayer!  Listen as I plead! Let your face shine again with peace and joy upon your desolate sanctuary–for your own glory, Lord.

O my God, bend down your ear and listen to my plea.  Open your eyes and see our wretchedness, how your city lies in ruins–for everyone knows that it is yours.  We don’t ask because we merit help, but because you are so merciful despite our grievous sins.

O Lord, hear, O Lord, forgive.  O Lord, listen to me and act!  Don’t delay–for your own sake, O my God, because your people and your city bear your name.”

A Prayer Over the City


As a grafted-in royal priesthood of the Most High God, I pray this prayer of healing, protection and deliverance over the city of Paris.

In your Word, Father, you state that we are more that conquerors in You who loves us, so we stand against this terror in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We will not accept the bloodshed of innocent man as the final authority, we accept You, Your might and your power over all evil.  Just as you delivered your people from the hand of their oppressors, so will you deliver your people again.  We will not bow, I know the arm of the Lord is not too short to save because, Jesus, you are Lord, I have see your hand of deliverance in the courtroom, I have witnessed your protection from an intruder to my home when I called upon your name, you have guarded me in head-on, side-on, back-on car accidents–hard pressed on every side but not crushed–I have witnessed your deliverance time and again.  Surely, our hairs are numbered and our lives are in your hands.  Father God, we call upon the name of King Jesus, the very one who sent fire when Elijah prayed, the God who sent manna when Moses cried out and who sent your Son when the fullness of time came.  You sent your son to die for everyone, no matter what, and still he stands at the door, waiting, just waiting for us to knock.  And so we ask you with all of our hearts for comfort for the grieved, for safety, protection and deliverance for this city.  Father, we do not know what to do but our eyes are on you.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A Manna Prayer


Taken from Exodus 16

And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. Exodus 16: 18

Lord Jesus, help me accept what you have given me in gratitude. The food that you lay out each morning, whether it be the same or different, let me view it as directly from your hand.

Lord, help me not to be greedy, to try and collect more than what is my fair share, because truly, whatever is not used is just wasted.

Lord, help me to honor the Sabbath, to stop from my labor on the 7th day and to know, to practice and to meditate on the thought that rest is worship.

Lord, continually remind me that you are my promise keeper, that if you told me that you will supply my food every morning, then help me to trust that you will continue to do it, that it is a gift, I have only to gather it…and just like you did for the Israelites you’ll provide it for 40 years–or more.

Lord, help me to preserve the manna, the memory of how you have always given me everything I have ever needed, just as Aaron did along with the tablets of the covenant law. Help me not only to keep these promises close, but to speak of these testimonies of how great and generous a God you really are.


Of Dead Hamsters and Precious Lambs

Pine Lake, GA

From Exodus 11-12

“Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for the generations to come.” Exodus 11:42

We came home Tuesday evening after an afternoon in the park with good friends, a short trip to a nearby lake and beautiful sunset and as we walked in the door she did what she always does: ran to the hamster cage. I heard her say, “Oh look, Robert’s laid out all flat and just sleeping…Mommy, I think Robert’s dead!” I rushed over to the cage and his little brown eyes were opening and closing slowly. It happened in the three to four hours we had been gone from the house. Some of the wood chips surrounding his body were bloody, so I feared the worst and the only one I could suspect was our other hamster, Lucy. They nipped at each other on a fairly consistent basis, but I don’t know how this last time went down, I only know that Little A was hysterical and I told her to take Lucy into her room for a few minutes.

I called my parents. Having raised about a million hamsters growing up, my dad is the resident expert on said rodent behavior. I couldn’t get them, so, just like every day of these past six years, this one came with its own challenge…I picked him up and turned him over, the bleeding was coming from his lower abdomen, and poor thing, he was heaving for breath. I stood there and prayed. I prayed for a miracle and thought, “Lord, don’t let this little guys suffer.” He took about 4 more big breaths and that was it. I wrapped him up in tissues and placed him in a shoe box and closed the lid.

Being true apartment dwellers for years now, we own no shovel and had gotten rid of our garden spade somewhere along the way, for at least a little while Robert would be under the bag of salmon in the freezer. Little A sobbed. My heart ached for her, she said, “We only had him for 5 months!”

Wring my heart out, Little One.

And so this week’s study on Pharaoh and Moses and these people who had been slaves for 430 years continued, this time with loss and preparation. This is the loss of the one and only homeland they had ever known. One ruled by an oppressor so fierce and stone-hearted, that he was ready let his own son die at the expense of his stubborness…it was here that God began to give instructions, as part of the Passover, the time commemorating that God would indeed spare his people of the last, most devastating plague of the death of all the first-born in all the land. But it required the shedding of blood. The blood of something perfect, spotless, whole.

It was specified (Exodus 12:5-6):

-the lamb was to be a year old

-without spot or defect

-they are to take it in on the 10th day of the month, but aren’t allowed to slaughter it until the 14th–why? My commentary says so that they could make sure it was genuinely without defect, but someone shared in our class that she read it was because in this time it would become precious. I certainly don’t know what kind of bond can be formed in a matter of four days, but I looked at one way that Webster defined this word: too valuable or important to be wasted or used carelessly.

The selection, care and preparation of this animal were some of the first instructions that God gave to the Israelites. It must have been seen so foreign, but if this was the same God that had brought all these plagues that the Hebrews had not only experienced and by His very hand spared, then they knew it was in their best interest to obey. They were told to cook this lamb thoroughly, share with other families if the portions were too big, prepare with bitter herbs, and burn up whatever was left. They were to eat it with sandals on their feet and cloaks on in preparation for a journey that would take much, much longer than any of them anticipated.

When I think of “precious,” I think of first-borns and I think of the relatively small amount of pain that I had to see my daughter experience this week in the loss of something dear to her and I think of the magnitude of the Father’s love for us to give His precious son.

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross
My guilt upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no powr’s, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

©1995 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music
Words and Music by Stuart Townend