The DEEP

Thinking Ahead Prayers

Guard against error.

Daniel 9:19–23 (ESV)

“O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.

“While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for the holy hill of my God, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding. At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.”

This confirms that Daniel’s prayer was proper. It is answered big time.

Right in the middle, while I was speaking in prayer, Gabriel shows up. And the passage makes a point of saying that it’s rapid-response. Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight.

So, it’s worth noting what Daniel does right in his prayer. We’ve already done some of that when we noted his honesty and repentance in Daniel 9:1–6.

He’s also focusing on God’s glory. Here Daniel begins with, “While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for the holy hill of my God.” He’s not praying for himself or his friends, but for the holy hill of my God.

Lastly, he asks for a prompt response, “because your city and your people are called by your name.”

I said in an earlier devotional that from a secular point of view, Daniel was acting like the world’s worst lawyer. This shows that from a kingdom point of view, he’s acting like a great lawyer. Within the mindset that everything is about God’s glory, he makes a brilliant case. He “argues” the point conclusively.

We need to pray like that. We should think more about what we’re going to pray for before we pray.


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” — Benjamin Franklin

As long as we’re thinking about what to pray for, how about thinking ahead? It seems like all our prayers are for fixing things after they’ve already gone bad. How about praying to guard against error?

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” — Luke 12:15

O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. — 1 Timothy 6:20–21


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

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All the weekly study guides, which include all the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.