then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. [daniel 9:3]
seeking him by prayer
if there is any one way we can summarize who daniel was, a single way to put his life into a simple sentence, it is to say that he was a man of prayer.
we can surely say that he was humble, brave, sincere, honest, trustworthy, or assign him any multitude of positive traits, and they would all be true. yet the one thing that separates him from so many others, the one thing that makes his life so unique, is that he has an intimate, real, relationship with his creator.
It is through his deep prayer life that he has the ability to interpret dreams.
it is because of his devotion to prayer that he was able to boldly stand against the king’s order to eat the king’s food.
it is because of his regular time in prayer that he was sent to the lion’s den, yet also because of his prayer that he was miraculously saved.
everything about daniel stems from his deep devotion to God through prayer.
yet he is not content. he continues to seek God. fervently, actively, seeking after the One who he has known all these years.
in this passage, daniel is pleading for mercy through fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. sackcloth and ashes are regularly mentioned together in scripture. sackcloth was not daily normal clothing; it was a very uncomfortable garment that was only worn when in deep mourning- in sorrow, humility and repentance. ashes symbolized destruction and devastation. in this time of deep sorrow, daniel ‘turned his face to the Lord God’ as he begged mercy from the God he knew so very well. this was not a random cry out into the universe, but part of a one-on-one conversation with God that was ongoing throughout daniel’s life.
if we seek to be the kind of person that daniel was (we should) then we must learn to know the God that daniel knew. He is accessible to us in the exact same way he was to daniel – through prayer.
~ jason soroski