Shine Like Stars – Wk 2
Daniel 9:1-19 (NLT)
9 It was the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, the son of Ahasuerus, who became king of the Babylonians. 2 During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the Lord, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes.
4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:
“O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands. 5 But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations. 6 We have refused to listen to your servants the prophets, who spoke on your authority to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land.
7 “Lord, you are in the right; but as you see, our faces are covered with shame. This is true of all of us, including the people of Judah and Jerusalem and all Israel, scattered near and far, wherever you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you. 8 O Lord, we and our kings, princes, and ancestors are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. 9 But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him. 10 We have not obeyed the Lord our God, for we have not followed the instructions he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has disobeyed your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to your voice.
“So now the solemn curses and judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured down on us because of our sin. 12 You have kept your word and done to us and our rulers exactly as you warned. Never has there been such a disaster as happened in Jerusalem. 13 Every curse written against us in the Law of Moses has come true. Yet we have refused to seek mercy from the Lord our God by turning from our sins and recognizing his truth. 14 Therefore, the Lord has brought upon us the disaster he prepared. The Lord our God was right to do all of these things, for we did not obey him.
15 “O Lord our God, you brought lasting honor to your name by rescuing your people from Egypt in a great display of power. But we have sinned and are full of wickedness. 16 In view of all your faithful mercies, Lord, please turn your furious anger away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain. All the neighboring nations mock Jerusalem and your people because of our sins and the sins of our ancestors.
17 “O our God, hear your servant’s prayer! Listen as I plead. For your own sake, Lord, smile again on your desolate sanctuary.
18 “O my God, lean down and listen to me. Open your eyes and see our despair. See how your city—the city that bears your name—lies in ruins. We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy.
19 “O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, do not delay, O my God, for your people and your city bear your name.”
HOW TO MOVE FROM SELF-FOCUSED TO GOD-CENTERED PRAYERS:
1. “O Lord, hear.”
– Self-focused prayers elevate the greatness of our problems.
– God-centered prayers elevate the greatness of our God.
2. “O Lord, forgive.”
– Self-focused prayers pray for judgment on others.
– God-centered prayers include confessing sins using “we.”
1 John 1:8-10 (MSG)
8-10 If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—simply come clean about them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.
3. “O Lord, listen and act.”
– Self-focused prayers pray, “my will be done.”
– God-centered prayers pray, “Not my will but yours be done.”
COMMUNITY GROUP MEETING OUTLINE
Where your faith intersects with real life!
Each person shares a recent high and low from their life.
Review the message notes.
Big Idea: If you want to shine like stars, be committed to praying God-centered prayers.
Choose one or two questions for your Group to discuss as time allows.
▶ Read all of Daniel 9:1-19. Listen for how he elevated God, confessed using “we” language, and asked God’s will to be done not his own.
▶ Read Daniel 9:4. Make a list together of God’s amazing characteristics.
▶ Read 1 John 1:8-10 (MSG).
– On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being difficult and 10 being super easy, where would you rank yourself in your comfortability confessing the sins of our people using “we” language.
– What are some benefits of confessing in this way?
Spend a moment in silence to consider your response, then share your decision with the Group.
The offer of action in the message was to set aside 5 minutes a day for prayer, use a journal and write out praise to God and prayers for others.
Take a moment and ask God if it’s time to add in one or more of these ideas to your prayer practice.
Thank God for the highs and lift up the lows.
Pray that God would help us to settle into some new prayer practices and redirect our prayers to be more for others.