Worship - Lesson 11
Daniel's Prayer and Ours
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can tell the story of Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9.
- The student can write a prayer with a similar conversation with God.
- The student can engage with God in meaningful prayer.
- Have Bibles for all students.
- Have pens/pencils for all.
- Provide each with a sheet of paper on which to write.
- Have the quiz ready to give.
- Have scriptures to be read on cards to hand out before class.
- Have access to a map to use as you tell the story of Daniel 9.
Just as Daniel prayed with respect, fervor, and persuasion, we should pray in a similar way.
Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class
- Welcome visitors by name, check roll, make announcements.
- Give the quiz over the previous lesson and check the answers.
- Prayers mentioned in the New Testament are both public and private. Jesus emphasized the need for private prayer. We should get in a private place and pray. The early church also prayed in their public meetings. Q: In what passages have we learned about public prayer? (1 Corinthians 14, Acts 4.) Today we are going to study a prayer Daniel prayed to see what we can learn from it and we will spend some time in prayer ourselves.
- We know Daniel was a man of prayer but we don’t often study an actual prayer he offered to God. One of his prayers is recorded in Daniel 9. Read Daniel 9:1-3. Let’s set the stage for this prayer. Q: Where was Daniel when he spoke this prayer? (Babylon—use map.) Q: Where was he in his career of government service? (The Persians had conquered the Babylonians. The new Persian king, Darius, had appointed Daniel as one of thee administrators over 120 satraps who ruled over the kingdom—Daniel 6:1-2. Use map.) Q: What would be the year of the time of this prayer of Daniel? (Since the Persian conquest was in 539 BC, this was probably a year or so later in 538 or 537 BC. Q: What had Daniel been reading? (The book of Jeremiah the prophet.) Q: Where had Jeremiah lived and what had been his message? (In Jerusalem and he had predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and the coming captivity in Babylon. These predictions had now come true. Q: What message from Jeremiah had Daniel read? (Jeremiah 25:1-12—that the captivity in Babylon would last 70 years and about that time the Babylonian kingdom would be destroyed. Q: What does Daniel realize as he reads this? (That the Babylonian kingdom has been taken over and that the 70 years is about up.) Q: So what does Daniel decide to do? (Pray that God will keep this promise. Daniel knew that the promise would be conditioned on the people’s attitude toward God.)
- Now let’s look at the prayer itself. Read Daniel 9:4-7, 12-13. Q: How would you describe the basic message of Daniel in this prayer? (God is great and keeps His promises to those who obey, and Daniel then confesses the sins of his people. Praise and confession. He says God was right to punish them but that He would also be right to bring them back to their homeland.) Q: With what other part of scripture does Daniel show his acquaintance? (Law of Moses. Read in particular Leviticus 26:14-15, 33.) Read Daniel 9:17-19. Q: For what does Daniel ask specifically? (That God will look with favor on the sanctuary (temple) and on the city that bears His name—Jerusalem.) Q: What reason does Daniel give God that this return from captivity and the re-building of the temple and the city would be a good thing? (Daniel says it would be “for your sake,” for God’s honor because the people and the temple and the sanctuary bear His name. So Daniel says it is for God’s good, for God’s honor that a return from captivity would take place.
- Let’s summarize Daniel’s strategy as presented in this prayer. He builds his prayer around three elements. Q: What would you say they are? (1. Praise and honor to God. (2. Confession of their sins. (3. Request that God will return them for His own benefit.)
- Take the sheet of paper you have and write a prayer about something you are concerned about right now that follows this plan. Speak first of God’s greatness and praise Him. Then make a confession to Him. Finally, make your request and explain how granting such a request is for God’s honor and for achieving His purposes. This is a private matter between you and God but we will ask any who are willing to share some of their thoughts with us after we write. (Teacher—wait about 3 or 4 minutes while the students do this.)
- Now who would like to share something of what they have written with the class. (Teacher—take three or four as time allows.)
- Now we are going to pray three prayers to God following this plan. First we will have a prayer for our congregation. Second we will have a prayer for our community. Third, we will have a prayer for our country. When we begin the last of these three prayers, the one leading will ask all those who will to kneel for that prayer. Make this a time when you concentrate fully on the prayer being given and make it your prayer. As each one praying says “amen,” all of us together will repeat “amen” after him. Prayers.
- Q: Was the experience of this prayer any different from what you usually experience when we pray publicly? Q: Why do you believe caused these differences?
- We are now going to sing a song encouraging us to pray and then we will sing a song which is a prayer. Focus on the words as we sing “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” Now we’ll sing a song which is a prayer to God. Sing verses 1, 2, and 4 of “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.” Use the “amen” at the end.
- Take the prayer you wrote home with you and during a time by yourself or with your family, actually pray that prayer.
- Spend at least 10 minutes a day in prayer to God using the plan Daniel did of praise, confession, and request with persuasion.
- The assignment asks everyone to practice what was in the lesson.
- A quiz next class period will ask some questions about the prayer of Daniel.
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