Read Daniel 9:5-13. What is significant about the fact that Daniel keeps on saying that “we” have done wrong, thereby including himself in the sins that ultimately have brought such calamity to the nation?
Daniel’s prayer is just one among other significant intercessory prayers contained in the Bible. Such prayers touch God’s heart, staving off judgment and bringing deliverance from enemies instead. When God is ready to destroy the entire Jewish nation, the intercession of Moses stays His hand (Exod. 32:7-14, Num. 14:10-25). Even when severe drought is about to consume the land, God answers Elijah’s prayer and pours out rain to revive the land (1 Kings chapter 18).
As we pray for family members, friends, and other people or situations, God hears our prayers and can intervene. Sometimes it may take longer for a prayer to be answered, but we can rest assured that God never forgets the needs of His children (see James 5:16).
In this case, Daniel plays the role of an intercessor, or mediator, between God and the people. From his study of the Scriptures, the prophet realizes how sinful the people have become as they transgress God’s law and refuse to hear God’s warnings. Thus, recognizing their desperate spiritual condition, Daniel prays for healing and forgiveness. But the prophet also identifies with his people. In some aspects Daniel illustrates the role of Christ as our intercessor (John chapter 17). However, there is a radical difference: Christ is “without sin” (Heb. 4:15) and therefore has no need to confess personal sin or to offer sacrifices for personal forgiveness (Heb. 7:26-27). But He identifies Himself in a unique way with sinners: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21, NIV).
|“If you would gather together everything that is good and holy and noble and lovely in man and then present the subject to the angels of God as acting a part in the salvation of the human soul or in merit, the proposition would be rejected as treason”. — Ellen G. White, Faith and Works, p. 24. What do these words teach us about our need for an Intercessor on our behalf?|