Summary: In order to know God you have to spend time talking to Him. You cannot take a vacation from prayer.
Are Your Prayers On Vacation?
Talking to God
During this month we are looking at the themes from this years VBS - Serengeti Trek.
Serengeti Trek takes place during the last week of this month and by then we will have a good grasp of what the children will be learning.
Last week we learned about two men who only had one thing in common. Jesus’ disciple Peter (A Jew) and The Roman Centurion Cornelius (A Gentile). What they had in common was a desire to know God. Out of that desire God brought them together and opened the door for the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ to move out into the whole world.
We learned that the most important goal for Christians is to “Know God”
Not just to know about Him but to know –
Who He is, How He works, How much He loves us,
What He wants with us,
How we can fulfill His expectations?
Those are the goals – this week we will start learning how to achieve them
Have you noticed that summer is here? We had our first triple digit temperatures last week and it is supposed to do it again this coming week.
With summer come three things - the Heat, the Mosquitoes and Vacations.
: a scheduled period during which activity (summer vacation - school) is suspended
: a period of exemption from work granted to an employee for rest and relaxation
: a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation
Look around you this morning. Most of those not here are on vacation. At least that is what I’m going to tell myself. Yes, there are Sundays that seem empty because of vacations, but vacations are important.
Vacations break up the routine, Give time for rest (Mental-Physical) and they make us realize how much cheaper it is to stay home.
There was a pastor who told his congregation,
“I am not going to take a vacation this summer; the devil never does!” One of the members went home and re-read the Gospels to see if Jesus took vacations. He found that in His three years’ of active ministry, there were 10 periods of rest away from the pressures of ministry – (vacation!) - He went back and asked the pastor,
“Pastor whose example are we following? Jesus’ or the Devil’s?”
This morning we are going to look at the story of a man who was ordered to take a vacation and refused. His refusal almost cost him his life. But his refusal was an important step toward “Knowing God”
Who is this man who refused to go on vacation? –
open your bibles to the O.T. book of Daniel chapter 6 and let’s find out.
The man’s name is Daniel. He was taken into captivity from Israel and made a slave in Babylon when he was 16. He is about 80 years old when this story takes place and he has risen to become an important official in the Babylonian empire.
Daniel 6:1-9 - Darius the Mede decided to divide the kingdom into 120 provinces, and he appointed a prince to rule over each province. The king also chose Daniel and two others as administrators to supervise the princes and to watch out for the king’s interests. Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and princes. Because of his great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire. Then the other administrators and princes began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling his affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize. He was faithful and honest and always responsible. So they concluded, "Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the requirements of his religion."
So the administrators and princes went to the king and said, "Long live King Darius! We administrators, prefects, princes, advisers, and other officials have unanimously agreed ( left out Daniel) that Your Majesty should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days anyone who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to Your Majesty—will be thrown to the lions. And let Your Majesty issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed, a law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked." So King Darius signed the law. (flattering – what can it hurt?)
1. What was Daniel’s Crisis?
Daniel was told he could not pray to God. The law said in essence “ Take a vacation from prayer” – True the law said he could pray to Darius, but is prayer to the king really prayer? Could Darius answer Daniel’s prayers like God can?
The bible says in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 - I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them, and give thanks. Pray this way for (not to) kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity.