21 days of prayer
Joshua Brantley, Worship Pastor
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. 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. So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him. Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.” So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep. At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
Most of us already know the story of Daniel and the lions’ den. Daniel refused to stop praying to his God as was decreed. More than that, it says that Daniel went upstairs where the window was open to pray. I believe Daniel knew exactly what he was doing. He was openly challenging this decree, and not hiding his faith. Basically, when Daniel thought it was appropriate to pray, he got down to business, knowing full well that there would be repercussions. We know that God saved Daniel through his faithfulness. I pray that I could be more like Daniel. Not simply because his faith saw him through the lions’ den, but because his faith put him in that situation in the first place. Maybe I’m the only person who tells people, “I’ll be praying for you”. Now, I really do try to do so. Why not take the time, right then and there, to pray with the person or pray for the situation? Is it out of fear of how we would look? Is it out of feeling like we don’t have enough time at that moment? I hope that these 21 days of prayer will open our eyes to the importance and power of prayer.
Lord, I know that I have never been in the same situation that Daniel was in and for that I am thankful. However, I recognize society and culture are stripping away Godly principles and their desire is for us to keep our beliefs quiet, but I pray that we would have Daniel like boldness to seek you. I pray that we would trust you and seek you like never before and that prayer will not be a small part of our relationship with you or something we really try hard to do for 21 days, but that in 2020 prayer will be the foundation of everything we do. I pray we would crave more time in your presence, seeking your will and your ways.