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What Do The Prayer Of Daniel and Crappie Fishing—Have In Common?

I love to eat crappie. But I can’t go out to the lake, cast a line anywhere—at any time—and catch a crappie. You have to know the habits of a crappie to catch one. My friends, Kenny and Michelle Miller, occasionally bring me fresh crappie. They are probably the best “crappie fishers” 😏 I know. It’s not luck. They have taken the time to study the habits of crappie—where they run and when.  When they go crappie fishing—they come back with crappie. 

So…why don’t I catch crappie when I go fishing? 

Well, it’s because I’ve never bothered to study the habits of crappie. I have about as good a chance of catching a crappie as trying to catch a big fat frog with a teaspoon. If I want to catch crappie, I’ve gotta respect the nature of the fish.

Prayer is a little like crappie fishing. 

I don’t mean to be sacrilegious—not at all. But the fact is, there is a way to pray that gets results with God and then there is a way that doesn’t. We can’t just throw prayers up to Almighty God “in our own way” and expect results. Don’t you think that’s one reason Jesus loved us enough to give us prayer lessons? Well, as a matter of fact, the Bible is full of prayers for us to learn from. In fact, Daniel’s prayer in Daniel chapter 9–is a remarkable example!

Feel free to read the entire prayer, but for the purposes of this devotional, I’m going to share just a portion of it:

“O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, WE have sinned and committed iniquity, WE have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. O Lord, to US belongs shame of face because WE have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though WE have rebelled against Him. WE have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws. O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do NOT present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, [for Your glory] my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

‭‭Daniel 9

Notice how the entire tone of the prayer is set by the great humility with which Daniel comes before God? His requests are made not for his own comfort—but for the glory of God. This is not the “name it and claim it” prayer you hear in popular evangelical circles. In fact, I’ve never seen this pop-culture kind of prayer ANYWHERE in the Bible. 

Humility is what catches God’s attention. (James 4:6)

Think about this for a moment in the context of this prayer. Daniel was a righteous man—quite likely the most holy person in Babylonian history. But notice as he intercedes for the restoration of Jerusalem, how he uses the terms “we” and “us” to include himself in the heartfelt prayer of repentance on behalf of the nation of Israel? If you read the prayer carefully you will see the position of great humility with which he presents his requests to God. He asks for God to answer his prayers—NOT because of Daniel’s righteousness or the people’s goodness—but because OF God’s MERCY and FOR God’s GLORY. Daniel was, by all outward appearances to those around him, a very righteous man. But Daniel understood that, before God, his righteousness was “as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6) Thus, his posture before God was to pray in repentance and call on God’s mercy to work on behalf of Israel. Why??? It wasn’t so Daniel could have a more comfortable life; rather, it was ALL for God’s own glory!

Daniel’s prayer reflects a deep understanding of the nature of God. He studied God. He knew the vastness of God’s mercy—even towards himself—a person who had dedicated his life to God. Daniel understood his life’s greatest purpose was to glorify God. He was meeting God in accordance with God’s holy nature. The bottom line: When we come to God on His terms, we draw close to Him and our prayers are effective because we’re asking on HIS terms—not our own. 

A prayer offered by a humble heart catches the heart…of Almighty God. 

God gives grace to those who are humble and opposes the proud. (James 4:6) 

To learn more about Kimberly Faith and the mission of Faith Strong, click HERE.

Out Now – Essential Faith, Volume II. Find it on Amazon by clicking HERE.

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