'As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed’. Daniel 9:23a
Mostly, we read only a short passage, but what part of this beautiful prayer by Daniel can be omitted? After all, when we read this prayer, we come to understand why Daniel was highly esteemed!
When Jerusalem fell, Daniel was banished to Babel and there he studied the prophetic words of Jeremiah who was his contemporary. Jeremiah had written that the period of exile was to last seventy years. For Daniel this was reason enough to have a time of prayer and petition, with fasting and in sackcloth and ashes - that is: in mourning. Fully aware that it were Israel’s sins that had caused these disasters, Daniel confessed his sins, and not only his own sins but the sins of the whole people of Israel.
It was because Daniel had such a priestly heart, that he was highly esteemed by God!
When we carefully read the Bible, we will find that all men of God did not think of themselves, but were prepared to stand in the gap for all people.
God can only speak to people who are imbued with the Spirit of His Son. The Holy Spirit cannot dwell in the hearts of people who seek everything for themselves. This is why today there are so few people who are highly esteemed by God.
I do not think Daniel was a highly esteemed man by nature. I think, he was molded into that through all the tribulations of life, because through these he learned not to have pity on himself, but to humble himself before God.
Humility can awake in us a priestly heart. And when we are freed from the spirit of boundless consumption and are prepared to confess our sins with a priestly heart - including the sins of the church and those of the whole world - then He will speak again with power, in answer to our call.