Daniel 9:3 Index
"And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:"
Research Material

"...I set my face unto the Lord God..."

  • Because God has promised, we are not released from the responsibility of beseeching Him for the fulfillment of His word. Daniel might have reasoned in this manner: God has promised to release His people at the end of the seventy years, and He will accomplish this promise; I need not therefore concern myself at all in the matter. Daniel did not thus reason; but as the time drew near for the accomplishment of the word of the Lord, he set himself to seek the Lord with all his heart. (US 194)

"...to seek by prayer..." (Ezra 8:21-23)

  • Although the Lord had promised deliverance to His people at the time appointed. Daniel knew of the conditional nature of many of God's promises (Jeremiah 18:7-10). He may have feared that the impenitence of his people might postpone the fulfillment of the promise (SL48). Moreover, the vision of Daniel 8 had predicted further desolation for the sanctuary and the city. His lack of understanding of "the vision of the evening and the morning" (Daniel 8:26) must have left him in deep perplexity. (4BC 849)
  • This is one of the instances in the Scriptures when a prayer is recorded. This one is given as an example of the fervent, effectual prayer of a righteous man, which availeth much. Daniel realized that sin had darkened the vision of many of God's professed people. Some who were in Babylon were careless and indifferent concerning the truths of God (Daniel 9:10). Many had gotten homes, and rested secure in the assurance that, when the captivity began, they were told to buy land and build homes. Some were content with present surroundings, and dreaded the difficulties which must attend the journey to Jerusalem (Genesis 19:12-16), which was in the hands of hostile tribes (Nehemiah 2:19), and where there were no pleasant homes. Jerusalem should be built, they agreed, but others should do it, not they (Daniel 9:10).... A love of Babylon was strong in the hearts of many. Seventy years after the decree of Cyrus had given all the Jews liberty to return to Palestine, there were still thousands of them in Babylon. In fact, but a small percent of the Jews ever returned. The youth, who had been educated in the city, had many of them, like the daughters of Lot in Sodom, partaken so largely of its customs, that they lingered among the heathen, though angels bade them hurry out. The spirit of prophecy was passed by with a few remarks, or fell upon ears entirely deaf; although in bondage, present conditions were preferable to freedom with the effort necessary to obtain it. Daniel knew of this condition, and he confessed the sins of the people before God. He identified himself with his people. His is one of the most wonderful prayers on record. (SNH 138)
  • How earnestly he engaged in the work, even with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes! This was probably the year when Daniel was cast into the lions' den. The reader will recall that the decree approved by the king had forbidden all his subjects to ask any petition of any god except the king, on pain of death. But regardless of the decree, Daniel prayed this prayer three times a day with his windows open toward Jerusalem. (US 194)