~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Daniel 9:1-11:1 ~ 1 John 2:18-3:6
Psalm 121:1-8 ~ Proverbs 28:27-28
Old Testament - Daniel chapter 9 today has an amazing prayer from Daniel! I honestly have been thinking about my prayer life a lot lately - and how I think it's not going so well. Like I've forgotten how to pray. Then I read this prayer from Daniel and it comes back quickly! Confess your sins, be humble, praise God and petition for others. What a prayer. If you liked Daniel's prayer in today's readings as much as I did, here are two more that I think you'll appreciate - one from Ezra at this link - and one from Nehemiah at this link. (okay, this is completely a geeky Bible thing here - but I just noticed that all 3 of these amazing prayers are in chapter 9 of their respective books! :) So, if you are forgetting how to pray and feel like you need some inspiration, just remember: Daniel 9, Ezra 9, and Nehemiah 9!)
I'll just highlight the opening verses of Daniel's prayer in verses 4 & 5: ""O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and keep your commands. But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations." What a great way to open in prayer - praise God and then confess your sins. Do you believe that God is indeed a great and awesome God? That God always fulfills his promises of unfailing love to those who love him and keep his commands? Have we sinned? Have we rebelled? Have we scorned God's commands?
The remainder of chapter 9 and into chapter 10 are fascinating as Daniel interacts with angels, including Gabriel - and we hear about Michael the Archangel and his work. If you are interested in learning more about "angelology" - yes, a real word apparently - check out this link on angelology at bible.org.
Chapter 10 verses 12 & 13 are worth considering: ""Don't be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way." This is encouraging to me that our prayers are heard in heaven. What is maybe discouraging is that our answers or help needed for our prayers can be blocked by fallen angels / demons, as we see in these verses. The spirit prince of Persia being a demon of some sort blocking the angel from getting to Daniel to answer his prayer... A good book that I would recommend to dive more into what this spiritual realm and the spiritual battles between angels might be like is "This Present Darkness" by Frank Peretti. It is a powerful read...
New Testament - First John 2 verse 27 stood out to me today: "But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true--it is not a lie. So continue in what he has taught you, and continue to live in Christ." After we come to believe in Christ as Savior of the World - through his life, death on the cross for our sins, and resurrection - we are then blessed with the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit. And indeed the Holy Spirit will come to live within us. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit within you can teach you all things? Teach you what is true? Will you continue in what the Holy Spirit has taught you? Will you live in Christ?
First John 3 verse 1 is encouraging: "See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children, and we really are!" Do you know that our heavenly Father loves you? Do you know that you are a child of God?
Psalms - Psalm 121 is the second in this series of 15 Psalms of ascent that were likely written for religious festivals when people were making their pilgrimages to Israel. I love verses 3 & 4 today - "He will not let you stumble and fall; the one who watches over you will not sleep. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps." How about that! God does not sleep! This reminds me of other parts of the Bible where it talks about God being pure light and having no shadows. God is also so perfect that he does not sleep! I like that... Allows me to sleep better at night. I'll no longer need to count sheep now! :)
And the closing verse 8... wow... "The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever." Do you believe this is true? Do you believe that God watches over you - always?
Bible.org's commentary on Psalm 121 today titled "Protection for the Pilgrim" is at this link.
Proverbs - Proverbs 28 verse 27 certainly stands on its own and is worth reflecting upon.... "Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing. But a curse will come upon those who close their eyes to poverty." Are your eyes open?
Comments from you - What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!