We can see how effective are the prayers of a righteous person through the Old Testament prophet Daniel. His prayers provide a model for us to follow. Read his powerful plea to God in Daniel 9:4-19. Now, let’s take a look at the key components of his prayer.

Start with praise. Daniel began his prayer by praising God. His focus was not on himself, but on God’s greatness. He prayed to “the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments” (Daniel 9:4). He acknowledged God as absolutely righteous, but also merciful and forgiving. Begin your own prayers with praise and thanksgiving to God.

Praise Him for His glory, His power, and His love. Thank Him for your salvation, your many blessings and glorious promises, and His daily provision in your life. Spend time just adoring God. We must remember that prayer is not just a means of getting what we ask for—it is fellowship with God. When we pray, we are investing in an intimate, personal relationship with Him.

Confess your sins. Daniel confessed that Israel had sinned. He didn’t try to dismiss, justify, or sidestep the fact that Israel had made a grave error. He didn’t make excuses to God but took responsibility. Daniel stated up front in his prayer, “[W]e have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws” (Daniel 9:5).

When you go to God in prayer, don’t play the blame game when it comes to your sin. Acknowledge any element of sin or wrongdoing—intentional or unintentional—related to the situation or circumstance. When God reveals sin in our hearts, His ultimate desire is to reconcile us to the fullness of a right relationship with Him.

Prayer: God, I want to praise You today for Your love and for the gift of salvation. Thank You for giving us Your Word to provide examples like Daniel for us to follow. Forgive me of any sin in my life. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!” (Psalm 18:46).

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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