“When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God as he had done previously.”
What a picture. Here’s Daniel. As soon as he knew a document had been signed, that anyone who prays to God, anyone who worships anyone besides the king will be killed. As soon as Daniel hears that, what does he do? He doesn’t sit back and think, “Okay, now how can I pray but it not cost me? How can I find a loophole here?” No. Daniel believes that prayer is more important than life itself. He is willing to die so that he can pray. And he immediately goes up to his house, windows open, gets down on his knees and he lifts his hands and prayer to God, just like he’d always done. Prayer more important than life. Willing to die so that he can pray.
How important is prayer to you? Daniel was willing to risk his life to commune with God.
Is prayer that important to you? For Daniel, this is not just an activity he does at the beginning of meals, or quickly to start off the day, or quickly to end the day; this is more important than life for Daniel. Intimacy with God, intercession before God, this is more important than life, this is, I’m willing to die to experience this. Is prayer that important to you? And I want to encourage you, if your heart just resounds yes to that question, “Yes, prayer is more important to me than life. Yes, I would die before I don’t pray, absolutely.” Then I want to encourage you to take Daniel 6:10 as an encouragement to go even deeper in your time in prayer, even longer in your time in prayer. How is God calling you to an even more intimate prayer life with him? Be encouraged that what your heart says, “Yes, prayer is more important than life,” is exactly right. So grow in that.
And then if your heart, just honestly you’d say, “Yeah, prayer’s more kind of a routine for me, that I do here and there, but it’s not really more important to me than life.” Ask God to teach you the importance of prayer. Just confess that to God. “God, I don’t think I view prayer like I should. I don’t think I’m experiencing prayer like it’s apparently intended to be experienced, so help me.” God is pleased with that prayer. And then set aside time, like it’s more important than anything else on your schedule, set aside time just to be with God in prayer, in prayer, just praying. And see what God does as you ask him to teach you to pray, teach you the importance of prayer, and then you set aside time for him to answer that prayer. Just see what he does.
God, we praise you, right now we praise you for the privilege of prayer, what we’re doing right now. Daniel was not about to yield this privilege, and we don’t want to yield this privilege. We pray you would help us to know, help us all to know the depth of what Daniel knew when he decided to go up straight to his house, open the windows and pray to you. Lord, help us to know what Daniel knew about how you’ve designed prayer to be more important than life itself. God, we pray that you would teach us to pray. Give us this desire for prayer, commitment to prayer, to communion, to conversation with you. God, thank you, thank you.
Jesus, we thank you for this privilege. We thank you for making this privilege possible, like access to you, the fact that we’re targeting you right now, the God of the universe who created everything, you’re talking to you, you’re listening to us. This is awesome. God, help us not to miss the wonder and the weight of what we’re doing right now as we pray. So God, please, please teach us more about prayer. Teach us more of the importance of prayer in each of our lives. I pray for this in my life. God, draw us into deeper intimacy with you in prayer. Help us to be long in prayer, such that it’s evident by the way we live, that prayer to us is more important than life itself. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
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