In Jeremiah 5, God pleaded, “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; see now and know; and seek in her open places if you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment, who seeks the truth, and I will pardon her” (Jeremiah 5:1, NKJV). The Lord was saying, in essence, “I’ll be merciful, if I can find just one person who’ll seek me.”

During the Babylonian captivity, God found such a man in Daniel. When the Holy Ghost came to Daniel, the prophet was reading the book of Jeremiah and asking why God was not delivering Israel after the promised 70 years. When the revelation came that Israel had not repented, Daniel was provoked to pray, “I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession” (Daniel 9:3-4).

Daniel knew God’s people had failed, yet did the prophet lambaste his peers for their sins? No. Daniel identified himself with the moral decay all around him. He declared, “We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from your precepts and your judgments… O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against you” (Daniel 9:5, 8).

God strongly desires to bless his people today, but if our minds are polluted with the spirit of this world, we are in no position to receive his blessings. Daniel made this powerful statement: “All this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which he does, though we have not obeyed his voice” (Daniel 9:13–14).

We must examine our own walk with the Lord and let the Holy Spirit show us areas of compromise. We should do more than pray for a backsliding nation. We should be crying out, “Oh, Lord, search my heart. Expose in me all of the spirit of the world that has crept into my soul.” Like Daniel, we could then set our faces to pray for the deliverance of our families and our nation.