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FCA Day of Prayer and Fasting on March 24

Published on March 23, 2020

by FCA
Teammates, we are in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 outbreak has hit every coach and athlete in both similar and unique ways. While this pandemic challenges our ways of life, we are not left without a guide. Daniel 9 shows us how to face tough times.

Most of us know Daniel as the man who survived the lion's den. He was a lifelong servant of God who remained faithful through a multitude of trials. How did he do it? A commitment to prayer and fasting. As we’re facing our own lion’s dens today—quarantined inside our homes, disappointed about unexpected changes, and uncertain of what the future might bring—we can learn some lessons from how Daniel faced his challenges in Daniel 9. He called upon the Lord and prayed three types of prayers: confession, adoration and petition.

>> Get in the Word! Read Daniel 9:1-23.
 

Confession

Most of Daniel’s life was lived in Babylonian captivity; Babylon was a culture known for its pagan gods and obsession with wealth and power. As a faithful servant, Daniel remained uncorrupted by the culture surrounding him. Unfortunately, many of his fellow Israelites did not.

As Daniel turned to prayer, he confessed the sins of his people and made “we” statements as he repented. His prayer models that of a surrendered, Christ-like leader. Leaders confess and pray on behalf of themselves and others. Leaders confess sin even if they didn’t actively participate in the wrongdoing. God listens to prayers uttered on behalf of entire communities.

The FCA family is full of leaders. Coaches, athletes, staff and supporters hold great influence in our world. Let’s cry out to God and confess our own sins, and the sins of others. Although we are sidelined in the ways we typically influence and socially distanced from one another, we can still lead. It starts with prayers of confession.

 

Prayers of Confession

How do you offer a prayer of confession? What should you say? Here are some of the phrases Daniel used to confess sin in Daniel 9 on behalf of his people. We can pray in this same way:

  • We have sinned and done wrong (v. 5).

  • We have rebelled against You and scorned Your commands and regulations (v. 5).

  • We have refused to listen to your servants (v. 6).

  • Our faces are covered with shame (v. 7).

  • We have not obeyed (v. 10).

  • We disobeyed Your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to Your voice (v. 11).

  • We have refused to seek mercy (v. 13).

Prayers of confession can include things like:

  • Worrying instead of trusting in God’s power.

  • Focusing on self and not others.

  • Resisting a tender heart that is sensitive to others’ pain.

  • Keeping a schedule that doesn’t include time in the Word of God.

  • Living a lifestyle that’s not in line with God’s commands.

  • Ignoring our spiritual leaders or disobeying God.

  • Closing off our hearts to areas that need changed.

 

Adoration

Daniel’s prayer wasn’t only full of confession, it was also packed with adoration. Even from our quarantined places, we can still worship and praise God. As a sports community, we excel at this type of practice. 

In our culture, it’s easy to offer compliments, pats on the back and kudos to our all-stars and top picks. We even have news channels dedicated to such things. Yet in a time like this where our competition is halted, let’s use this time to give 100% of our praises to Jesus Christ.

Prayers of Adoration

How do we adore God through prayer? Think about how you’d talk about, compliment and praise the athlete or coach who just won a championship. Offer those same types of compliments to God. Comment on His goodness. His amazing works. The beauty and awe of what He can do. If you need a start, here are some phrases Daniel used:

  • You are a great and awesome God (v. 4).

  • You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love (v. 4).

  • You are in the right (v. 7).

  • The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving (v. 9).

Prayers of adoration can include things like:

  • Asking God for a heart of worship.

  • Focusing on nothing but His goodness.

  • Recounting the ways God has come through for you.

  • Thanking God for the blessings in your life.

  • Pointing out what you admire about God’s creation.

  • Singing worship songs to adore God.

  • Praying the Word of God and claiming His promises.

     

Petition

Daniel wasn’t shy to petition God, which means he asked God for his heart’s desires. This is a powerful glimpse into Daniel’s relationship with God since, remember, he spent the majority of his life in Babylon. It’s likely that Daniel faced unanswered prayers as a devout Jew who would have wanted to return home but instead had to stay put and serve pagan-worshiping kings.

In Daniel 9, we find an 80-year-old Daniel continuing to pray heartfelt prayers and refusing to cease his petitioning. It can be easy to stop talking to God when we experience unanswered prayer, disappointment and discouragement. Yet Daniel’s leadership shows us that despite our very real challenges, we must persevere and run toward God, not away.

 

Prayers of Petition

What should you pray to petition God? Here’s what Daniel prayed for:

  • Relief of a hard situation (v. 16).

  • To be heard and seen by God (v. 17 & 18).

  • God's smile and affection (v. 17).

Prayers of petition can include things like:

  • Protection and provision during this world-wide crisis.

  • Strength and health for your body and others.

  • Complete healing for anyone affected by the virus.

  • Immunity from the virus.

  • Mental and spiritual courage and strength during uncertain times.

  • A chance to compete again.

  • A friend, mentor or discipler who encourages you during quarantine.

  • Help with making meaning out of these challenging circumstances.

 

As we turn to Daniel 9 for a guide on confession, adoration and petition, let’s remember that we also bear God’s name. Teammates, although we’re facing incredibly challenging circumstances, let’s remember we don’t just represent our sports, clubs and leagues. We ultimately represent Christ. 

May prayer and fasting be the way we lead the world to be transformed by the influence of coaches and athletes today.

 

Follow FCA on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to participate in confession, adoration and petition throughout March 24.

-FCA-