For three years Ashpenaz taught Daniel all about Babylonian culture: its literature, language, history, and religion (Daniel 1:4-5). King Nebuchadnezzar wanted to use Daniel’s studies to further his own kingdom, but God wanted to utilize it to further His: “God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom” and in “all matters of wisdom and understanding” (1:17, 20; cf. 5:11-16, emphasis added). The study of Babylonian culture was not just an exercise in gathering interesting information, God wanted to impart His perspective on what was happening in the land. God wanted more out of Daniel than expertise; He wanted an informed intercessor.
Informed intercession values God’s view of history and affirms that history serves God. Each city experiences changes. But the informed intercessor knows that it is the Lord who issues such “times and the seasons”; God desires to give “wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” and to reveal strategic “deep and secret things” for “he knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him” (2:21-22; cf. 5:17-29; 8:15-27). When God sheds His light on our modern day “Babylon” our vision instantly broadens to encompass an eternal perspective (past, present, and future).
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 22, A Biblical Role Model of Personal Passion in Prayer by Gloria J. Wiese).
Gracious God, You love my city, state and nation so much more than I can even imagine. Reveal the dark places that need Your light and teach me about the hidden and unseen things that need a touch from You. Draw my heart into a deep longing to intercede for the land You have placed me in and give me wisdom and understanding to know how to live for You as salt and light within it!
Praise the God of Israel, who comes in glory to meet with his people. Thank God for coming to consume the darkness and to make what is purified radiate with his glory (Ezek. 43:1-5). Confess any wickedness that hinders the brightness of his presence. Commit to letting God’s glory shine upon you in worship. Ask God to shine through you to others.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will cause the glory of God to blaze in you, setting your heart on fire for the lost. Ask that God will send forth his Word, bringing his light to lives swamped in darkness.
—Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.