Daniel 9:25 “Know therefore and understand, / That from the going forth of the command / To restore and build Jerusalem / Until Messiah the Prince, / There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; / The street shall be built again, and the wall, / Even in troublesome times.”

October 20th, 2021 by Pastor Ed in devotional

While Daniel was in captivity in Babylon, he was reading Jeremiah’s book and came to the section where Jeremiah prophesied how long the captivity would last. Recognizing that the end of that time was approaching, he fervently sought the Lord. Daniel humbled himself in rough burlap, or sackcloth, and fasted as a statement of deep repentance. He cried out to God, asking that He would show them mercy and forgive them. He didn’t make excuses for his nation’s sin but instead admitted that Israel had gotten what it deserved. His confession was both collective (for the sins of the nation) and personal (for his own sins), and we see that he received an answer to his prayer even before he finished praying. Daniel’s prayer was answered with a beautiful prophecy of the coming Messiah, and it is so precise, we can use it to date Jesus’ entry into the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

In his book, The Coming Prince, Sir Robert Anderson, of Scotland Yard fame, details how this highly complex and startlingly accurate prophecy did in fact answer Daniel’s prayer. God’s greatest act of mercy and forgiveness came when He sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sin. When we humble ourselves before God and pray, we can’t expect to receive a prophecy that will become Scripture, but we can absolutely expect that the God of heaven will hear our cry and respond.

In 1877, in Minnesota, governor John S. Pillsbury (founder of the Pillsbury Food Company) called for a statewide day of prayer and fasting. The year before, a plague of grasshoppers had destroyed the states crops, devastating the farmers. Fearing that it would happen again, on April 26, schools and state offices closed so the people could gather together to pray. According to reports, the next 3 days were unusually warm, causing all the larva to hatch. The people were incredibly discouraged; however, on the 4th day, they had an equally unusual cold snap, resulting in the deaths of almost all the hatched grasshoppers. The crops that year were saved and plentiful. The farmers of Minnesota thanked God for answering their prayers. What is it that you are struggling over today? God still answers prayer.

“LORD, we lift up to You those we see around us who are struggling and ask that You would be gracious to them and meet their needs this day, in Jesus’ name.”