This past Sunday we continued our discussion of prayer with a look at the story of Daniel in the book of Daniel.
Daniel faced a time in a land that looked similar to the 21st century in the U.S.
Darius, the king, had appointed Daniel as one of his 3 commissioners. Many of the 120 governors became jealous of Daniel’s standing with the king, so they tricked the king into signing a document that allowed people to only bow down to the king.
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.
Nothing had changed for Daniel. We also need to continue to follow through with our commitments to follow Christ as we always have done.
Daniel 6:16 Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and cast into the lions’ den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you.”
The king rushes in the next morning, after a night of fasting and prayer, to see Daniel in the lions’ den.
Read Daniel 20-23.
There are 3 lessons here:
1. True prayer is constant.
– The targets are consistent; know what you are praying for.
– Let your prayers be targeted towards holy living, a holy church, and a holy message.
2. True prayer is intense and persistent.
– Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.
If we are to see the kingdom advance, we have to see this as a violent fight and be persistent in our prayers.
– Luke 18:1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart.
Jesus told them this parable so that they would pray consistently and not loose heart. We must be intense and
3. True prayer is unselfish.
– James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
False gospels seek what I can gain instead of what I can give.
This doesn’t mean that it is selfish to take my own needs to God, but don’t stop there!
“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. If they perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” – Charles Spurgeon
Today thousands of churches are falling to their knees according to 2 Chronicles 7:14.
And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
The first requirement is to humble ourselves.
The second requirement is to pray.
– What does your lion’s den look like?
– Which of these three descriptions do you struggle with the most?