Summary: 3 things about Daniel’s prayer: Daniels’s Discipline of prayer; Daniel’s Defiance through prayer; and Daniel’s Endurance in prayer.
Prayer is the most undervalued resource of the church.
The Bible teaches us that all the blessings that God wants to bestow on us, he does so through prayer. Prayer is the conduit by which his power comes into our lives and into our families.
o John Wesley, pioneer of the Great Awakening in our country, once said, “God does nothing on earth except in answer to prayer.” That’s clearly an overstatement, but he’s getting at the fact that the means why which God releases his power on earth is through prayer.
Prayer is the way we lay hold of the promises and blessings of God and make them our own.
o The Bible is a book of promises: 3000 of them, all of which are “yes” in Christ Jesus, for you.
o I want you to read through the Bible, yes, but more importantly I want you to pray through it.
o Prayer works like a laser. The way a laser works is you stack light beams on top of each other until, and as you do, they intensify. When waves go opposite directions, they cancel each other out. (like noise cancelling headphones). When they go the same direction, they increase in strength. Prayer is adding the wave of our faith to the wave of God’s promises and his expressed will, and the result is the laser of God’s power.
Where is the power and blessing of God absent from your life and family, simply because you have not risen up to claim the blessings and power of God as your own?
Last week we looked at Jacob, a man who laid hold of the promised blessing from God by wrestling with him. God had already declared the blessing to be his, so he wasn’t trying to manipulate God into giving something he had come up with on his own, it was something that God had declared for him; but he took it through a night of wrestling. He pressed through, and won his blessing.
Today we’ll look at another guy whose life was similar. Daniel. Daniel is one of the most famous Bible heroes of all time.
BTW, anybody watching the Bible on the History Channel?
That’s what Christians watched last week; pagans watched the Oscars. But I’m not judging.
I will show you 3 things about Daniel’s prayer: Daniels’s Discipline of prayer; Daniel’s Defiance through prayer; and Daniel’s Endurance in prayer.
(“Oh yes, just when you thought you’d gotten all of the Southern Baptist out of the boy, he goes and pulls something like this and alliterates his sermon. Daniel’s Discipline; Defiance; Endurance. Except for endurance; but if you’ll put the emphasis on the DUR, en--‐DUR--‐ance, it’s like they all start with D. Is that lame?”/You like that? I’m a professional.)
Daniel was an Israelite captive that had been carried off to Babylon, probably, scholars say, somewhere in his middle school years.
God had told Israel that if they were unfaithful to him, he would send them out of the promised land of Israel into exile.
Well, after repeated warnings Israel would not return from her unfaithfulness, so God kept his word to them and in 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar and the armies of the Babylon rode into Jerusalem, killing thousands and taking a bunch more as captives and slaves.
As I mentioned, Daniel was likely in his middle school years, and means he probably saw his parents murdered in front of him and then he had been put into a cage and carted off to Babylon.
Well, after he got there, Daniel was selected to be part of a program where some of the best and brightest of all the young men in Babylon got to train as interns in the palace.
And they included some of the Israelite captives so they could brainwash them into Babylonian ways and use them as leaders of their people. Well, through a series of events, God blessed Daniel and Daniel distinguished himself above all the others.
First, the king had commanded these guys to eat the best Babylonian diet, but the problem was it included many foods that were forbidden by the law of God for Jews to eat. So Daniel determined in his heart he wouldn’t not defile himself with the king’s meats. But his supervisor said, “You have to. This is the diet that we have determined makes you the smartest and most physically fit. And you can either eat it, or be executed.” Daniel said, “What if you test us for 10 days, choosing our own foods, and see if in a couple of weeks we have suffered for it.” So the guy agrees and when they examine them after 10 days they are healthier and stronger than all the others.
Daniel 2 says that God gave Daniel an incredible amount of wisdom and skill in all the maths and sciences, setting him at the top of his class in everything.