Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. Daniel 9:3
What day has been observed in many nations for hundreds of years, yet is not a recognized holiday in any modern nation? Today!—April 1, or commonly known as April Fools’ Day. It’s a day for playing practical jokes on the unsuspecting, followed by a shout of “April Fools’!”
Jokes and pranks are fun when life is calm, but we need something more serious when life takes a darker turn. That was the case with Daniel in Babylon when he discovered Jeremiah’s prophecy that the exile of the Jews was to last for seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11-12). Daniel was taken from Jerusalem to Babylon in 605 B.C., so seventy years of captivity would result in a date of 535 B.C. Daniel discovered Jeremiah’s prophecy around 539 B.C.—the first year of the reign of the Persian king, Darius (Daniel 9:1). So what did Daniel do? He prayed! He confessed his sins and the sins of the Jewish people (Daniel 9:4-19), asking that their captivity end.
Life is no joke—on April 1 or any other day. We should always “pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
We can do nothing without prayer. E. M. Bounds
John MacArthur – Daniel 9 (interpreting Bible prophecy literally)