We know Daniel as the stalwart, gifted young man who loyally served Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and interpreted his dreams. But his greatest exploits came as a result of his being a righteous man of prayer.
Daniel lived such a devoted, holy life that you would not expect to find him repenting before the Lord. But his heart was very sensitive to sin and he identified with the horrible sins of the people of Israel. Notice his use of the plural pronoun we in his prayer.
“We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land” (Daniel 9:5-6).
“I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God” (Daniel 9:20). Daniel was saying, in essence, “Lord, deal with me while you are dealing with your people. If there is any iniquity in my heart, bring it out and show it to me!”
Are there really benefits to repentance? Yes! One truly wonderful benefit is the gift of a new, clearer vision of Jesus Christ. After Daniel repented, he had a vision: “I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen [appeared]” (Daniel 10:5). Daniel was the only one who saw the man, who was actually Jesus in all his glory!
Understand, Daniel was not praying for this vision; he was just repenting, confessing and mourning over sin. Jesus took it upon himself to come to Daniel in this revelation — the Lord initiated it! You see, when we humble ourselves before the Lord and make things right with him and others, we don’t have to seek a revelation. Jesus will manifest himself to us! It may not be in a vision but we will know that he is present.