Summary: Part of a series on Daniel 1-6 called compromise. Sermon deals with prayerlessness.

[Note: This sermon was adapted from a chapter in John R. Rice’s book, Prayer: Asking and Receiving. I don’t agree with everything in the book, but I liked much of what he had to say in his chapter on prayerlessness.]

Daniel 6

In this chapter we find one of the most famous Old Testament stories—Daniel and the lions’ den. The only other stories that would compare to the popularity of this one would be—I think—Noah’s ark, David and Goliath, and Jonah and the big fish.

[1] It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; [2] And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. [3] Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

[4] Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. [5] Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. [6] Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. [7] All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. [8] Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. [9] Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.

The next verse is the one I want us to really pay attention to.

[10] Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being opened in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

Here is a man who would not give up his prayer time. Though he knew that disobeying the king’s command meant a visit to the lions’ den, he would not stop praying.

You might be wondering, Why didn’t Daniel just close his window and pray in private. It really didn’t matter whether Daniel closed his window or not. Either way, he knew his enemies would accuse him before the king, and he would answer truthfully, “Yes, I did pray.” Since the king was going to find out anyway, he decided he wouldn’t change a thing.

Today’s message is called “Don’t Compromise Your Prayer Time.”

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if God had an answering machine?

Imagine praying and hearing this:

“Thank you for calling Heaven. Please select one of the following four options:

1. Press 1 for requests.

2. Press 2 for thanksgiving.

3. Press 3 for complaints.

4. For all other inquiries, press 4.”

What if God used the familiar excuse: “All of the angels are helping other customers right now. Please stay on the line. You call will be answered in the order it was received.”

Can you imagine getting these kinds of responses as you call on God in prayer?

1. “If you’d like to speak with Gabriel, press 1.”

2. “For Michael, press 2.”

3. “For any other angel, press 3.”

4. “If you want King David to sing you a psalm, press 6.

5. “To find out if your relative is here, enter his or her date of death and listen for the list that follows.”

6. “For reservations at My Father’s House, simply press the letters J-O-H-N on the key pad, followed by the numbers 3-1-6.”

7. “For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth, and where Noah’s ark is, wait until you get here!”

8. “Our computers show that you have called once today already. Please hang up immediately.”

9. “This office is closed for the weekend. Please call again Monday.”

Thank God, we can’t call Him too often! We only need to ring once and God hears us. We will never get a busy signal. Thank God for the privilege of prayer!

“Prayer,” someone once observed, “has already divided seas and rolled up flowing rivers, it has made flinty rocks gush into fountains, it has quenched flames of fire, it has muzzled lions, disarmed vipers and poisons, it has marshaled the stars against the wicked, it has stopped the course of the moon and arrested the sun in its race, it has burst open iron gates and recalled souls from eternity, it has conquered the strongest devils and commanded legions of angels down from heaven. Prayer has bridled and chained the raging passions of men and destroyed vast armies of proud, daring, blustering atheists. Prayer has brought one man from the bottom of the sea and carried another in a chariot of fire to heaven.”

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