29th November 2013

Keep On Praying 

Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.”
Daniel 6:10-11 (NIV UK)

Daniel’s prayer life changed an empire. He probably did not realize it, but his consistency in prayer was to have an unexpected consequence.

King Darius wanted to promote Daniel to the highest office in the land, second only to himself. This provoked envy among the court officials, who then conspired to bring Daniel down. They set a trap for him. Daniel made no secret of his prayer life. So, they got Darius to legislate that all prayer should be made only to the king for the next thirty days. If anyone disobeyed, he or she should be thrown into the lions’ den.

It was just for a month. Surely, some may say, God would understand if Daniel were to go quiet for a while. He could pray in a corner, or on his bed just before going to sleep, keeping it under wraps, so to speak. Daniel, however, did not change his prayer habit. The conspirators found him praying as normal, and he was arrested.

No doubt you remember the outcome: Daniel was thrown to the lions. Darius could not sleep that night, and, in the morning, rushed to see what had happened. Daniel was alive! The mouths of the lions had been shut. Darius got Daniel lifted out of the pit, and, in keeping with the customary harshness of his times, ordered the conspirators and their families to be thrown into the pit instead. He continued to promote Daniel as he had planned. The whole empire now changed its religion. “’I issue a decree,’ proclaimed Darius, ‘that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures for ever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.’” (6:26).

My favourite quote about prayer, outside of the Bible, is from the poem, Morte d’Arthur (the death of Arthur) by Tennyson. In it he writes, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of”. That’s what happened with Daniel. We don’t even know exactly what Daniel said in his prayers, save that he asked for help. His open habit of prayer led to a whole empire being turned upside down.

Keep on praying. You never know what unexpected consequences may happen.

Father, help us to continue to pray to you even when everything seems to be going wrong. Thank you that you respond, sometimes in unexpected ways. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson


bible3About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  You are welcome to attend any of our Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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