Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Committed to Prayer 1/29/2013
"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." Dan 6:10-11
An integral part of living the Christian life is prayer to God in the name of Jesus. We teach our children from the earliest of ages the famous "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer and we are always careful to pray over our food. Likewise, we dutifully and reverently bow our heads and close our eyes when prayer is rendered during worship or other corporate occasions such as weddings and funerals. Is that, however, the extent of our prayer life?
Daniel had an intimate relationship with God. This was expressed in many ways, not the least of which was through prayer. Those who were jealous of Daniel's title, position and favor with the king coerced the king into signing irrevocable legislation that would cast anyone who prayed to any other entity than himself into the lion's den. Despite knowing this, Daniel would not be deterred from his regular and vigorous commitment to prayer.
Beloved, it is critical that we understand the purpose of prayer. We serve a God who is tender hearted toward us, passionately in love with us and desires an intimate relationship with us. Though he knows all things and is a discerner of our hearts, he has given us this avenue to Him that allows for direct communication. Imagine that! We can communicate directly with the Creator of the universe and He hears! The bible is replete with examples, instructions, postures and occasions, all related to prayer. It is clearly a critical aspect of our relationship with our Father.
Finally, Jesus taught that we must move beyond these perfunctory prayers that can sometimes be automatic responses to the occasion. Prayer must involve sincerity, quality and commitment:
"But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you," Matt 6:6.