JANUARY 4, 2023
MAKING PRAYER A PRIORITY
“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)
Having an effective Prayer life is a difficult thing for many Christians, possibly because of difficult time schedules, multiple distractions, and prayer being a difficult discipline to master. Author Richard Newton wrote the following words: “The principal cause of my leanness and unfruitfulness is owing to an unaccountable backwardness to pray. I can write or read or converse or hear with a ready heart; but prayer is more spiritual and inward than any of these, and the more spiritual any duty is the more my carnal heart is apt to stray from it. Prayer and patience and faith are never disappointed. When I can find my heart in frame and liberty for prayer, everything else is comparatively easy.”
Daniel in the Old Testament was a man who prioritized Prayer in his life. Daniel wasn’t a Pastor or Missionary. He was a government administrator, who even though he was Jewish, had successfully served faithfully in both the Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires. In fact, Daniel was so successful that he surpassed all of the other government administrators in his accomplishments (Daniel 6:3). As a result of being envious of Daniel’s success and accomplishments, the other government administrators in the Medo-Persian empire sought to find some way to discredit him. But because Daniel was such a man of integrity, they could find no fault in him. So the other government administrators coerced King Darius to establish a law that no one could pray to any other god but the king for 30 days. The punishment for doing so was to be thrown into a den of hungry lions. How would you have responded to such a threat?
Daniel could have made excuses for not praying for 30 days, like we sometimes make excuses for not praying in our day. He could have said, “I’ve prayed so much that God will be okay with me not praying for 30 days.” Daniel could have stayed hidden while he prayed. But the Bible tells us that as soon as Daniel learned that the law had been signed, He went home and prayed three times a day like he’d previously been doing, with his windows open. Prayer and his relationship with God were so important to Daniel that he was willing to risk his life in order to pray.
At the end of the story, Daniel was known as a hero who was rescued from a den of lions. You can be certain that if Daniel was thrown into a den of lions that he was praying. And God performed a miracle in response to Daniel’s prayers - King Darius declared that all of the people of his kingdom should worship and pray to Daniel’s God (Daniel 6:23-28). Daniel’s story reminds us that when we have faithful and faith-filled prayer lives, that the Lord will work miracles in, for and through our lives.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Add your “devotion times” to your calendar and ask the Lord to help you keep those appointments with Him. (For a family activity, add your individual or family “devotion times” to your family calendar so everyone can participate and/or be respectful when other family members are in prayer).
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, in the coming days I’m going to be asking You to work miracles in my life and in the lives of others. I know that becoming a persistent prayer warrior will strengthen my relationship with You, and will help me experience more miracles in response to my prayers. So, help me to become the prayer warrior You’ve called me to be and that others around me need me to be. In the name of Jesus, Amen.