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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

We Pray Wednesday - People of Prayer in the Bible: Daniel

People of Prayer in the Bible: Daniel
We read in the Bible about men who had great prayer relationships and wish that we could have the type of relationship that men in the Bible had with God.  Daniel is one of those men.  As you read the life of Daniel, there are several things to notice about his walk with God.  As we read we can follow some steps that can allow us to have a better prayer relationship with God.

1.  He prayed in a foreign place.
Daniel was taken captive as a young man from everything that was familiar to him.  He went to a strange place with strange people and strange customs, yet while he was here he still followed what he had been taught to do in Jerusalem.  This was to stand for his beliefs and pray to Jehovah.  Many times, we as Christians can feel as if we are living in a world with foreign practices and ideas.  Do we still follow what God’s Word tells us to do and pray?   The idea may seem foreign in today’s society, but Daniel stood for God and prayed even though it was foreign.  Oh, that we would have more Daniels in today’s world.

2.  He blessed God for answers to prayer.
Daniel had a difficult situation come up when he was in Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar.  The king had a dream and wanted his wise men to interpret the dream for him.  The problem was that he could no longer remember the dream.  When the wise men could not interpret the dream, or tell him what it the dream was, he rashly ordered them all to be killed.  When Daniel found out that he was on the list to die, he begged the king for time to get the answer from God.  Daniel, and his three friends, prayed and begged God for His mercy in this matter.  When God answered, he immediately spent time thanking God for the answer.  The unusual thing is that God does not record his prayer in the Bible, but recorded his thanksgivings to God for the answer.  How often do we pray for something and when God answers, we fail to thank him for the answer to the prayer?

3.  He had a habit of praying daily.
Daniel has now lived in Babylon for almost 70 years, when a decree comes from Darius the king that no one could ask a petition of any god or man except the king for 30 days.  When Daniel hears this, he goes into his house, into his room, and opens his windows and prays like he has done many times before the decree.  Was Daniel disobeying the command of the king?  No, he was following God’s law over man’s law.  Not when it was convenient or when it suited what he wanted to do, but like he had done so many times before this.  Do we have a habit of praying daily?  If a law was passed that we could no longer pray, and we continued to pray as we had done before it was passed, how long would they have to wait to catch us?  Hours? Days? Weeks?  We should daily go to God and bring our praise, confession, and request to Him.  One of the reasons that the law was passed, was because they knew that there was no other way to find fault with Daniel.

4.  He continued to pray until God gave the answer.
At the end of the book of Daniel, he realizes that the prophecy concerning the children of Israel is about to take place.  The children of Israel are about to return to Jerusalem after being in captivity for 70 years.  He prays and confesses the sin of himself and his people and makes supplication to God to let the children of Israel return.  While he is praying, God sends his answer IMMEDIATELY to Daniel.  Two chapters later, he prays to God and God does not send an answer for 3 weeks!  We seem to think that God is a genie and when we pray to Him, He should answer immediately.  Sometimes He does.  Sometimes He doesn’t answer until He is ready.  Will we continue to pray until the answer comes or do we pray for a little and if God does not answer our way and our time, we just handle it by our self?  When God handles things in His timing, He is never late. 

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