Summary: How are we to pray during tough times?
What are we hearing today when we listen to the news, prosperous or tough times??
You’ve heard of the saying “When the going gets tough, the tough gets…. going!”
How many of you think that Vince Lombardi said that?
It was actually legendary Knute Rochne who started that phrase as he coached the University of Notre Dame Football Team to 5 National Championships! In 13 years of coaching, Coach Rochne only lost 12 games! We can say that Coach Rochne was a success!
And so, yes, we should follow Coach Rochne’s advice; but even though most of us are Green Bay Packer fans, we just don’t live for football, do we? May I suggest a more powerful statement to live by; Before we get going with our actions, I believe what we need to be saying is, “when the going gets tough, the tough gets praying, before going!”
We are to pray when the going gets tough around us! How and what should we pray for? Of course we can follow the prayer that our Lord Jesus Christ taught His disciples; and may I suggest that we should all pray the “Lord’s Prayer” often, but pray it slowly and really think about what you are saying.
But as we continue our study of the Book of Daniel, we can learn from a prayer in Daniel Chapter 9. Daniel and the people of Israel have become slaves and Daniel knew that the enslavement was for 70 years, a whole lifetime! And so Daniel prays to God during those tough times.
Read along with me Daniel 9:1-23………..
We will note 4 main things in Daniels’ prayer. But before looking at those prayer points, let us note what else Daniel did besides prayer and how God responded.
Look again at v3…….
Daniel fasted as he prayed. What does it mean to fast?
To fast means to abstain from something, usually food. Also, we need to note that Biblically, fasting is always associated with prayer! And so, in other words, the reason to fast is to help you focus on your prayers. The reason to fast is to be fully dependent on God through prayer because true gratification only comes from God!
And I think it is important to note right away how God responded to Daniel’s prayer. Look again at v23………
God not only responded to Daniel’s prayer immediately, God honored Daniel.
Shouldn’t we all pray like Daniel? How did Daniel pray?
There were 4 parts to Daniel’s prayer:
Daniel acknowledged who God is: God is Great, Awesome, and Loving!
Verse 5 sums it up doesn’t it?..........
v7-14: Daniel agrees with God’s judgment.
v15-19: Daniel requested for God’s mercy and for God’s Name sake!
Daniel and God’s Chosen People were in the midst of trials; and so Daniel prayed. The world is crazy these days and we Christians will be persecuted. Perhaps, you’re dealing with some trials right now. Let us imitate that prayer of Daniel.
1. Acknowledge who God is!
God is an Awesome, Almighty, but a Loving God!
2. Confess sins.
What are sins? The original Greek word for sin is “hamartia” which means missing the mark. If you’re shooting at a target and you missed it, you just sinned. God’s target for us is to love Him with our entire being. All of us sin until we die; therefore we are to constantly pray and confess our sins! But we also,
3. Agree with God that there are consequences to our sins.
No matter how hard it is, we need to say that God is Holy and right and we sinners deserve the hardships we receive.
4. Ask for God’s blessings!
Of course we are to first of all claim the forgiveness of our sins by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and claim Jesus as our only God; then we can ask whatever we need in the Name of Jesus Christ. We are to ask for the Glory of Jesus Christ! Whatever we pray for, we should ask ourselves, “Is my prayer request going to honor Jesus Christ?”
If you believe and confess that Jesus Christ is the only one who can save you from your sins and that He truly is your God, you are called to participate in Communion today to remember what Jesus Christ did for you. Take a moment to pray about these things. If you have never truly accepted Jesus Christ in your heart as your only Savior and your only God, please do it right now.