Revealer of Mysteries: The Prayer and the Prophecy Study Guide

This past weekend, we continued our series, “Revealer of Mysteries: A Study Through Daniel,” as Pastor Doug Sauder shared from Daniel 9, one of the most significant prophetic passages in the Bible. In this message, we explored the power of prayer, the manner in which God hears and answers our prayers, and how prophecy always points us to Jesus!

Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.


Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Doug’s message this weekend:

God’s Promises Invite Our Participation (Daniel 9:1–3; Jeremiah 25:11): At this point in time, Daniel is an old man (likely in his mid or late eighties), sitting with scrolls filled with the prophet Jeremiah’s words, the Word of God in front of him, asking the Lord God for insight to see how to understand what is to come for the people of Judah and all of Israel.

“I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes” (Daniel 9:2–3 NKJV). Here we see Daniel reflecting on the Word of God as he ponders the truths of Scripture in study and prayer.

Despite being second in command in the vast Persian Empire, despite being extremely busy, he was never too busy to spend time thinking deeply in the presence of the Holy Spirit. He was never too busy to pray. What about you? How often do you think deeply in the presence of Holy Spirit? What does your rhythm of prayer and devotion look like? Do you set aside daily quiet time to meet with the Lord and hear from Him through His Word? Through devoted prayer?

The Pronouns of Our Prayers Matter (Daniel 9:4–19): In this passage, we see Daniel’s prayer before the Lord. This prayer is one of confession and repentance. Now, what’s unique about this is that among all the men and women in the Old and New Testaments apart from the Lord Jesus Himself, few—if any—are as blameless and upright as Daniel. From David, to Moses, to Abraham, to Samson, to Peter, to Paul, and even Joseph . . . we see their great moments, but also their sins and flaws and shortcomings. But with Daniel, he is never seen or called out for wrongdoing. And yet, when he prays this prayer of confession and repentance on behalf of Israel, he doesn’t say “they” or “those people have sinned.” He doesn’t distance himself from the sins of his people like the Pharisees did about 400 years later. Instead, he associates himself with their sins in the same way that Jesus did when He took our sins upon His shoulders.

Daniel gives us a wonderful model for how we should pray for the Church, for the body of Christ. When we see one brother, or one church, or a group/region of churches, we should remember that we’re all one body under the headship of Christ, and when one part of the body is in disarray, we all are. Instead of complaining about them, we should confess on their behalf, pray in repentance the same way we would plead for our flesh and blood brother or sister who was experiencing turmoil. How do you pray for other believers? How do you pray for brothers and sisters when you see them fall short or fall into sin?

Our Prayers Are Heard in an Instant, but Answered in God’s Time (Daniel 9:20–23): God always hears our prayers; He always inclines His ear toward those who call out to Him! He listens and stands with us, embracing us and walking through every situation and circumstance in life alongside us. He is never far away and truly does hear our supplications and prayers. But He answers in His perfect timing. And here’s the thing we often have trouble seeing, considering, or acknowledging because we are impatient and can’t see the whole picture: The timing in which God answers prayers is for our ultimate good. It’s the perfect intersection for our good, the good of others, and the glory of God Almighty.

Often, though, in the delay we wonder where He is. We question whether He is listening or whether He can hear us. Why? Because the delay is hard for us in our finite vision. We can’t see what’s ahead because we don’t have all the info; we can’t see the whole picture. But here’s the beautiful thing about our God: With Him, our waiting time is never wasted time. Because God often brings about extraordinary destinies out of excruciating delays. He produces wonders out of the waiting!

From Abraham and Joseph all the way to David and Daniel, we see the Lord’s timing work out for good. Every delay, every pause, every seemingly unanswered prayer, every moment that passes where difficulties and trials persist . . . it’s all part of God’s perfect timing and our sanctification process. Every second is planned, every moment is intentional, and it’s all meant for our good and His glory! And here, in Daniel 9, we see the ultimate instance of God’s perfect timing, the most important answer to prayer: the coming of the Anointed One!

The Point of Every Prophecy Is Jesus (Daniel 9:23–27): Revelation 19:10 (NKJV) says, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” In other words, all prophecy ultimately points to the person and work of Jesus! The point of everything is Jesus! All prophecy, all the law, the psalms, the entirety of Scripture points to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sometimes, as believers we can become preoccupied with stuff like prophecy, trying to figure out which doctrine is correct and when and how some of these end times prophecies will take place—and that preoccupation can get us off track when it comes to being with Jesus and being conformed to His image. When this happens, we are on a great adventure of missing the point. We need to be knowledgeable about but not preoccupied with prophecy, because again, the point is to POINT us to Jesus. So instead, let’s be preoccupied with Jesus!

Quote to Remember: What if we prayed like Daniel every time we were confronted with a mystery?Pastor Doug Sauder


As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider on your own, with your family, or in your group.

1. What promises has God fulfilled in your life? What did He do in and through you?

2. Who are you praying for in your life right now and what are you praying for?

3. What pronouns do you use in prayer? Are they like Daniel’s (us) or is it more like the Pharisees (them)?

4. What has waiting on God’s timing looked like for you?

5. What is occupying your mind right now? What do you go to bed thinking about and wake up preoccupied with? What can you do this week to surrender those thoughts to the Lord?


Join us this Wednesday as we dive deeper into our discussion of Daniel 9 with a message from Pastor Duane Roberts of our Boynton Beach campus.

Then on the weekend, we’ll be joined by renowned Bible commentator and scholar David Guzik as we dive into Daniel 10 and 11. In this message, we’ll explore spiritual warfare, the end times, and the Antichrist. Invite your friends, neighbors, classmates, and coworkers to join you in hearing this powerful message.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.