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What Daniel Teaches Us About Committed Prayer

“Pray to me or it is the lions for you.”

And so King Darius commanded all people to pray to him as their god.

Pretty bold law isn’t it? But the governor of the nation, Daniel the Hebrew, is bolder still. What was Daniel’s response to the law to worship King Darius? The Bible says:

“But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.” Daniel 6:10

Daniel prayed as usual. He worshiped the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Prayer for Daniel was routine, a time to be alone with God. He had a set time, a specific place, a schedule for prayer.

“As usual”, the Bible says, Daniel prayed. Would that be your response?

There are lots of ways to pray. There are the quick lightening prayers scattered throughout the day. There are prayer books you can use to guide your thoughts. Short devotional books can show you an aspect of God’s character and encourage prayer.

Smart phone apps can send you daily meditation verses. Repeat the Lord’s prayer through the day, letting the words shape your thoughts and requests.

I have a phone app that messages me three times a day to stop and examine my day, to see what pleases God and what to be thankful for.

You can have serious Bible reading time when you pray through the passage. And in quiet stillness with the Lord you can let Him reveal His thoughts.

Technology offers help to develop our prayer time.

But more than technology what we need most is a habit of prayer.

Like Daniel’s day, the gods of our culture demand allegiance.

God created a beautiful world for us to enjoy. But if we become obsessed with entertainment, when it controls our time and consumes our thought it may become our god.

Sexuality is a beautiful gift from God. It fosters intimacy and joy in marriage. But when we use people as objects for our lusts, then sexuality becomes a god. When the sex act becomes our god, lust is its act of worship.

When materialism in all its trappings, holds our time and attention captive, it becomes a god. We have begun to worship the creation more than the creator, the gift more than the Giver.

It was through his “as usual” prayer that Daniel found strength to resist the god of his culture, King Darius.

But the question remains: If your name replaced Daniel’s would the scripture say: She went home and prayed as usual?

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