Read Daniel 9:1-19.

The Old Testament prophet Daniel became an advisor to kings because of who he was in secret on his knees before God.

Daniel was born in the land of Judah during a time when much of the nation had fallen away from God. He was a teenager when God permitted the forces of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to lay siege to Jerusalem.

Along with much of the population of Jerusalem, Daniel and his friends were shackled and led away in chains to Babylon, where they became servants in the royal court of Nebuchadnezzar. Exiled to a foreign land, Daniel stood his moral and spiritual ground, as we see in the story of Daniel being willing to die in the lions’ den rather than stop praying.

Whenever you see a person standing firm for God, you’ll find that they first bent the knee to God in prayer. When God’s people refuse to compromise their faith, when God’s people persistently, consistently, and obstinately go to their knees in prayer, big things happen. Future history changes. Everything that was notable about Daniel flowed from his daily time with God. People who spend time with God every day can’t help but be changed.

We see this in Daniel’s remarkable prayer in Daniel 9, when the Jewish people had been in exile in Babylon for nearly seventy years. Daniel pleads with God through confession, intercession, and petition.

When you pray, remember Daniel’s prayer. Remember that the same God who answered Daniel’s prayers has promised to answer your prayers. Remember that the same God who foretold the outline of future history to Jeremiah and Daniel is in control of your future as well. You can trust Him with your future because He is the one who announced the return of His people to Israel after seventy years of exile, then moved the king of Persia to send them home—precisely on schedule. And He is the one who announced the coming of the Messiah, then sent Him into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday—precisely on schedule.

History never catches God by surprise. When we pray, we become partners in the fulfillment of His eternal plan. So pray like Daniel, rely on God’s promises, and prepare to be amazed.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the honor of serving Your Kingdom through prayer and obedience. Help me to be faithful in these callings so that by my witness of trust in You, many might see Your goodness and Truth and be saved. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name” (Daniel 9:19).

*This devotional adapted from Life-Changing Prayers by Michael Youssef © 2018. Published by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission.

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Life-Changing Prayers, Part 1: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.


Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.


The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.


He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.



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