Lessons from Daniel. Part 1
The December/January school holidays each year sees me read a number of books. I love reading all the time, but I can pour myself into a number of books for often hours at a time when not pressed by schedules, routines and commitments.
There was one book I read that has impacted me enough to renewed action and strengthened resolve in my life. "The Daniel Prayer- Prayer that moves Heaven and changes nations" by Anne Graham Lotz is a recommended read. If you are wanting to increase the effectiveness of your prayer life and to witness your prayers 'move heaven and change nations', this is the book for you. The author uses Daniel's life as the example of a powerful pray-er and encourages the Christian reader to be committed to pray until our prayers are answered. The framework of the book is taken from Daniel's prayer for the people which is recorded in Chapter 9:1-23.
She urges us to set aside specific times and a special place with all we need (our bible, tissues, a prayer list, note pad, pen, worship music, etc) in order to spend time with the Lord in prayer and devotion, free from distractions and armed with the right attitude, ready to meet with the God of the universe.
'Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful.' Colossians 4:2
Although the author recognises that we can pray anywhere and at anytime and she encourages us to this kind of prayer also, I was compelled to delve into the life of Daniel in more depth this term as I am drawn to the kind of man he was and how profoundly impactful and significant his life is depicted in the Scriptures. This month's blog is part 1 of a number of blogs on Lessons from Daniel.
James 5:18 tells us that 'the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.' That's the kind of prayers I desire to pray!
We first meet Daniel when he was around 15 years old and was captured by the Babylonians. Stripped of all his rights, a slave in a foreign country, given a different name, forced to become a eunuch and to eat and drink food that had first been offered to idols, Daniel remained true to His God and glorified Him through his character and his conduct. By reading Daniel's story, you quickly discover he was a righteous young man who remained so his entire life. We also learn that Daniel was a pray-er whose prayers were powerful and effective- so much so that the angel messenger Gabriel personally visited him on a number of occasions. 'O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. At the beginnings of your supplications the command went out and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved..' and Gabriel goes on to explain the seventy weeks vision to Daniel in this interaction.
( From Daniel 9:20-27)
How amazing would it have been to have the archangel Gabriel visit you and talk with you, sharing the interpretation of visions dreamed, words of encouragement needed and insight into spiritual warfare going on in the heavenlies?
Daniel's prayer life is an example to all followers of Jesus. He knew who God was and had a personal relationship with Him. He set aside time morning, noon and night EVERY DAY to pray. He did this in the same place- his room and looked out the window and towards his beloved home- Jerusalem. He was committed to pray until he saw God answer. He was compelled to pray for others. His prayers were centred on the One to whom He trusted to hear and act upon his prayers. He had confidence His God was true to His word (to which Daniel was also committed). His prayers echoed confession (a practice people would rather shy away from today) and clarity (specific prayers are the best). Daniel experienced both immediate and delayed answers to his prayers and it will do us great good to look at his prayer life to improve our own. I don't know about you, but I'm not content to remain where I am in my spiritual walk and prayer life and desire my prayers and their results to emulate someone like Daniel from the scriptures.
I think God desires that all His children are prayer warriors and intercessors! So...let's get going..and PRAY!
Praying for you...xx