1
The Prayer of Azariah
1 # Dan 3.23 The three young men, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,#v.1 HANANIAH, MISHAEL, AND AZARIAH: These are the original names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (see Dan 1.6–7). started walking about in the flames, singing hymns to God, and praising him as Lord. 2Then Azariah stood still and there in the fire he prayed aloud: 3“O Lord, the God of our ancestors, we praise and adore you; may your name be honoured for ever. 4You have treated us as we deserve. In everything you have done to us you are always honest, and when you bring us to judgement, you are always fair. 5You did what was right when you brought disaster upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our ancestors. We deserved that judgement because of our sins. 6We disobeyed you, we turned our backs on you, and we are guilty of every sin. 7We did not do the things that you commanded us to do. If we had obeyed your laws, we would have prospered, 8but now we deserve the judgement and punishment that you have brought upon us. 9You have handed us over to lawless, hateful, and defiant enemies — to the most wicked king in the world. 10And now all of us who worship you are humiliated; we are too ashamed to open our mouths.
11“Yet for the sake of your own honour, do not break your covenant with us and abandon us for ever. 12Do not withhold your mercy from us. Keep your promises to Abraham, whom you loved, to Isaac, your servant, and to Jacob, the father of your holy people Israel. 13You promised to give them as many descendants as the stars in the sky or as the grains of sand along the seashore. 14But now, Lord, we are fewer in number than any other nation; wherever we are, we live in disgrace because of our sins. 15We are left without a king, without any prophets or leaders. There is no longer a Temple where we can go to offer you burnt offerings, sacrifices, gifts, or incense, no place where we can make offerings to you and find your mercy. 16But we come to you with repentant hearts and humble spirits, begging you to accept us just as if we had come with burnt offerings of rams and bulls and thousands of fat lambs. 17Accept our repentance as our sacrifice to you today, so that we may obey you with all our hearts. No one who trusts you will ever be disappointed. 18-19Now with all our hearts we promise to obey you, worship you, and come to you in prayer. Treat us with kindness and mercy, and let us never be put to shame. 20O Lord, rescue us with one of your miracles; bring honour to your name.
21“Bring disgrace and shame on all who harm us. Take away their might and power and crush their strength. 22Let them know that you alone are Lord and God and that you rule in majesty over the whole world.”
23The king's servants who had thrown the three men into the furnace kept the fire hot by feeding it with oil, tar, flax, and brushwood. 24The flames blazed up to a height of more than twenty metres 25and even spread out and burnt up the Babylonians standing near the furnace. 26#Tob 5.4But an angel of the Lord came down into the fire where the three men were. He pushed aside the flames 27so that it felt as if a cool breeze were blowing, and the fire did not touch the men at all or hurt them in any way.
The Song of the Three Young Men
28There in the furnace the three young men again started singing together in praise of God:
29“We praise you, O Lord, the God of our ancestors.
30May your glorious, holy name
be held in honour and reverence for ever.
31May hymns be sung to your glory for ever
and may your holy presence be praised in that temple,
32where you sit on your heavenly throne above the winged creatures
and look down to the world of the dead.
May you be praised and honoured for ever.
33May you be praised as you sit on your royal throne.
May hymns be sung to your glory for ever.
34May you be praised in the dome of the heavens.
May hymns be sung to your glory for ever.
35“Praise the Lord, all creation;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
36Praise the Lord, skies above;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
37Praise the Lord, all angels of the Lord;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
38Praise the Lord, all waters above the sky;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
39Praise the Lord, all heavenly powers;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
40Praise the Lord, sun and moon;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
41Praise the Lord, stars of heaven;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
42Praise the Lord, rain and dew;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
43Praise the Lord, all winds;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
44Praise the Lord, fire and heat;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
45Praise the Lord, bitter cold and scorching heat;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
46Praise the Lord, dews and snows;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
47Praise the Lord, nights and days;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
48Praise the Lord, daylight and darkness;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
49Praise the Lord, ice and cold;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
50Praise the Lord, frost and snow;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
51Praise the Lord, lightning and storm clouds;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
52“Let the earth praise the Lord;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
53Praise the Lord, mountains and hills;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
54Praise the Lord, everything that grows;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
55Praise the Lord, lakes and rivers;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
56Praise the Lord, springs of water;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
57Praise the Lord, whales and sea creatures;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
58Praise the Lord, all birds;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
59Praise the Lord, all cattle and wild animals;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
60“Praise the Lord, all people on earth;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
61Praise the Lord, people of Israel;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
62Praise the Lord, priests of the Lord;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
63Praise the Lord, servants of the Lord;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
64Praise the Lord, all faithful people;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
65Praise the Lord, all who are humble and holy;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
66Praise the Lord, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael;
sing his praise and honour him for ever.
He rescued us from the world of the dead
and saved us from the power of death.
He brought us out from the burning furnace
and saved us from the fire.
67Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good
and his mercy lasts for ever.
68Praise the Lord, all who worship him;
sing praise to the God of gods and give him thanks,
for his mercy lasts for ever.”
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