Journal Entry // November 12, 2021
Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.Daniel 9:3 ESV
How am I to reach a point in my faith, where I too can be so overcome with emotion and passion for the glory of God in my life that I humble myself before the Lord? Daniel comes away from his Bible study with understanding from the book of Jeremiah that their captivity was to last 70 years. His immediate response is humility and in his anguish he seeks the author and perfector of our faith.
“I turned my face to the Lord God” – In the midst of grief and sorrow mixed with suffering and trials, Daniel’s first instinct is to turn toward God. For me, this isn’t always my first step. It generally takes me several misguided steps of trying to go about it on my own. In my sin and shame and guilt I feel I must prepare myself before I approach the Lord. Daniel shows me a better way. The way of life in the kingdom of God. The way of life with my heavenly Father. In the midst of the pain, turn to God. Turn your face toward God… First and foremost.
So what did Daniel mean by this turning? Prayer. Not just a simple matter of offering up a prayer when I have time in my day or when I happen to remember. Daniel offers up deep, emotional, confessional prayer. Prayer for mercy and grace. Prayer with fasting and humility.
This is the key to my response. My prayer must be humble. Seeking the face of God is not a matter of half-heartedness. The prayer Daniel is talking about is all consuming. It engages all aspects of his life. His will, his emotions, his very soul is consumed with seeking the face of God.
I want this in my life. I want to be passionate about engaging in prayer in a deep meaningful way. But it means I must allow my emotions to be involved, which is scary. For my emotions are held in check for a reason. I am prone to be led astray by then. I am fearful of really letting my emotions have a say in any part of life. But my emotions are a key element in seeking the face of God. I have to engage. I have to be open. I have to be humble. I have to be focused on Christ. I need to let my emotions drive me to the presence of Christ in humility. Letting the word of Christ fill my heart and inform my will. To come humble before the steadfast love of my Father. To come before God’s presence as I turn my face toward him.