The time of the end will be a time of unique distress and extreme misery. Daniel describes it as a time of trouble, so difficult in fact, that at no other time in human history will there ever have been a time of greater severity, intensity, and trouble. It is during this time that the great archangel Michael shall arise, whom Daniel is told is the “great prince who has charge of your people” (v. 1). The time in which he arises will be uniquely severe, unlike that which has ever been since nations have existed.
Daniel is assured that despite the unique severity of distress, his people would be delivered, “everyone whose name shall be found written in the book” (v. 1). Two things are affirmed about the end simultaneously: it would be a time of misery without parallel and a time of deliverance without equal. Many of the dead would awake, some to everlasting life, and others to shame and everlasting contempt. And then a promise is given: “And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Those who are redeemed will shine like the brightness of the sky, like the stars forever and ever. One commentator has put it this way:
Yahweh is just so very ‘God-like’ in this passage. No sooner does he mention unheard-of distress than he peppers the text with tokens of our security. It helps immensely to know, among other things, that no church-crushing, saint-smashing regime can remove the names written in the indelible ink of God’s book.”
~ The Bible Speaks Today. “The Message of Daniel: His Kingdom Cannot Fail”elec. ed. wordsearchbible.com.
Let us affirm the truth of Daniel’s prophecy. A time of unmatched cruelty is coming, but it will be matched with God’s delivering power. And, those who are victorious in Christ will triumph, shining like stars, like the brightness of the sky forever and ever. This is our hope and our future.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Father of eternity, God and Father of Jesus Christ, thank you for the promise of your deliverance to come. No matter what we face or what challenges lie before us, we are assured of your help and deliverance. May we be always be clinging to you and your Word. Through Christ our Lord, amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father, And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, Is now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen, amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord's Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
--Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Affirmation from the Psalms
Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.  Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you – you are my God.  Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day.  Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.  For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.  Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.  In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.
~ Psalm 86.1-7
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
Thank you so much, Lord Jesus Christ, that our names are written in your Book of Life.