Two lessons emerge and both are salutary for you and I in this second decade of the 21st century.
1. He read the Bible, the books of God, the inspired writings of Moses and the Prophets. He read them and he studied them –diligently. You and I have 66 books and letters in the collection of sacred writings available to us. We need to give ourselves to the reading and study of each one in order to be alert and aware and able to participate in all that Adonay Elohim has for us in our day and generation. This is NOT the prerogative of a select few. Neither is it the fruit of years of seminary training. The Lord Jesus has promised that our ‘parakletos/Comforter, which is the hagios pheuma (Holy Spirit), whom the Father will send in my name, he shall didasko/teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance , whatsoever I have said unto you.’ This is a promise for every sincere, genuine, hungry follower of the Lord Jesus.
2. He took action –he prayed. ‘And turning my face to the Lord God, I gave myself up to prayer, requesting his grace, going without food, in haircloth and dust.’ BBE. Daniel saw from his reading that it was that time. Time for his people to return to their land. For the promises of God to be fulfilled. So, he prayed and sought the face of the Father. It is that time for us now too. We are living in momentous days. The so called ‘Arab Spring’ is very significant and many men and women of God are drawing our attention to the writings of Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and John. However, it’s not good enough to just read the books that are available and to listen to messages. The Lord Jesus wants you and me to read and meditate and then act on the scriptures for ourselves. What should we pray for? I suggest we should pray for men and women to be saved. Not just a perfunctory prayer once in a while, but routinely and with great earnestness. Pray for insight into His purposes and His plans for this moment in time. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ that they may be blessed, prospered and be faithful witnesses for the Lord Jesus. Follow Daniel’s example and ‘set your face’ and ‘give yourself up’ to prayer. If you are married, set aside time with your wife to spend in earnest intercession. If you are single, set apart time to do this. How many hours do you spend watching television? We are often more religious about setting aside time to watch the news and our favourite TV programme than we are about the Kingdom and the will of God. Barbara and I used to spend one hour every day from 6–7pm in our room praying earnestly for a huge range of things that the Lord had laid on our hearts. Now I find the morning my best time. You must tailor your commitment to your timetable. It may not be daily, but sometime in our busy lives there must be times we can set apart to pray. Get a concordance and consider all the New Testament references to prayer and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into all the truth concerning this. Our time on earth is short. We only have a few short years to ‘seek first the kingdom…’ After that we stand before the bema seat of Christ to receive the reward for the things done while in this life. C.f. Romans 14:10 and 1 Corinthians 3: 10-15.
One great key to enjoying the presence of God in our lives is found in the words of Jesus,
‘And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.’ John 8:29.
Let us seek to do likewise.
Every blessing in Christ,
 Reprinted and available from www.kingsleypress.com and www.schoettlepublishing.com.
 Reverent Jews referred to YHWH, or Yahweh, as Adonay or Adonai, because of course YHWH was the unpronounceable name of God known as the Tetragrammaton which is Greek for ‘four letters’.
 For a thorough study of the canon of scripture I recommend Prof. FF Bruce’s The Canon of Scripture, 1988 InterVarsity Press. Arguably the best treatment available of this vital topic.