[selected passages from Daniel's Prayer]
4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed:
"O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with all who love Him and obey His commands, 5 we [I] have sinned and done wrong. We [I] have been wicked and have rebelled; we [I] have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We [I] have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your Name to our kings [our presidents], our princes [our governors] and our fathers [parents, teachers pastors], and to all the people [me and my church body] of the land [my country & my church ].
9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him; ...
11 All Israel [me & our country and its leaders] has transgressed Your law and turned away, refusing to obey You.
13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster [like 9/11, Katrina] has come upon us, yet we [I] have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to Your TRUTH [God's Holy Word].17 "Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of Your servant. For Your sake, O Lord, look with favor on Your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people bear Your Name." [emphasis and bracketed words added for practical insight]
Beginning on Sunday this week, God has had one 'theme' in mind! HIS HOLY WORD! When I read verse 13 I saw a complete picture of repentance [turning from sin - to God] but then the word 'favor' stuck out to me. I asked myself how we gain favor of the Lord - and there it was right there in the middle of Daniel's prayer - "by turning from our sins and giving attention to Your TRUTH."
On Monday I had 3 messages from women who desired to share what God had done with them, shown them, loved them, all because they had dug deep into His Word. One message said, "I just called to share with you how GOOD our God is!"
My heart rejoiced with those who found themselves in the Presence of God through His Word...
Yet there was another that I heard about who has not opened her Bible for more than a year! She was someone I attended Bible study with about 5 years ago. My heart grieved! I asked the Lord, How can that happen?
I came across [in our Daniel study] a song title that Travis Cottrell wrote called:
Your Word is Life to Me!
I asked myself... Am I giving my full attention to Your Truth, Lord?
His Word is Life to Me! How about you? Can we ever really live a year without it - even a month - a week - a day - an hour?
Abba Father -
Your Word is life to us. Through it You sustain us, forgive us, cleanse us, renew us, wash us, restore us, heal us, bring joy to us, challenge us, discipline us, correct us, breathe on us - all for the benefit of Your kingdom purposes so that You can mold us and make us instruments for Your glory! Give us a hungering appetite to feast on it daily - and hourly, keep it in our hearts and on our tongues so that we can demolish strongholds that surround us in the heavenly realms. May we learn to wield the Sword You have given us!
Thank You for Your life-giving TRUTH!
In Jesus' Name,
[JESUS - the One I EXTOL]