Monday, July 05, 2010

Praying With Courage

There is no question that Daniel was a great example of courage in prayer as seen in Daniel chapter 6. He had come to Babylon as a teenager and now was about to be promoted by King Darius to one of the highest offices in the land. This didn’t sit well with Daniel’s enemies and they plotted to destroy him. But plotting against Daniel was extremely difficult. He was faithful in all of his duties and he was faultless in his character. But his being so fervent in his faith opened a door for his enemies to use against him.

They stroked the King’s ego and convinced him to pass a decree that for 30 days no one could pray to anyone except to Darius himself. They further recommended that the penalty for breaking this law be death by being fed to the lions. The King ultimately signed the decree according to the Law of the Medes and Persians meaning it could not be overturned for any reason. And as a result, Daniel is doomed because his commitment to prayer would not be hindered by the King’s Decree or the threat of the lion’s den. In Daniel 6:10-11 we see that Daniel prayed anyway – but the description of his prayer gives to us some wonderful aspects to apply to our prayer lives as well. I see 8 aspects worth considering.

Daniel’s prayer life was a PASSION - He prayed even knowing that the new law had been signed. He prayed knowing the penalty would be capital punishment.

Daniel’s prayer life was in PRIVATE - He “entered his house” to pray. His prayer life wasn’t just a show in public

Daniel’s prayer life had a PURPOSE - He "opened his windows" facing Jerusalem. Jerusalem was over 1,000 miles away from Persia but it was still the center of worship of the God of Israel. Daniel’s prayers were focused on the people and the purpose of the God of Israel

Daniel’s prayer life was a PATTERN - He “continued” to pray. He did not pray simply in revolt of the new law.

Daniel’s prayer life showed his POSITION - He prayed “kneeling on his knees.” He recognized his total dependence on God

Daniel’s prayer life was a PRIORITY - He prayed “three times a day.” Praying 3 times a day every day shows priority

Daniel’s prayer life was full of PRAISE - He prayed and “gave thanks.” Even in exile – even with enemies – he was thankful

Daniel’s prayer life was PERSONAL - He prayed “before his God.” His prayer life was about a relationship with God. That is really the essence of prayer. In fact, one of the best definitions I have ever heard for prayer is that prayer is “the act of being with God.”

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