Summary: Prayer is definitely a difficult discipline, but it’s also a delightful discussion.
1. “God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food.”
• Amen. No Talking!
NOTE: that was the prayer my son learned at age 5 when he was in a Christian day care many years ago.
• At every meal, the kids in unison would say out loud: “God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. Amen. No talking.”
AND AS A new believer I thought it was great. Hey Marie, we need to use that prayer at dinner time! So we tried it a few times.
• But something about it was lacking. It just didn’t do it for us.
• It was a great beginning, but prayer is more than simply repeating the same words & phrases over and over again.
Matthew 6.7-8 "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
PRAYER. Just the word in Christian circles brings up great joy and great frustration.
• Joy to those of your prayer lives are strong.
• Frustration to those of you who are struggling with prayer.
1. Prayer is definitely A Difficult Discipline.
a. WE all know we COULD pray more.
b. WE all know we SHOULD pray more.
c. WE all know we WOULD pray more if we could gain a greater victory over the weakness of our flesh!
d. We all truly want a deeper, richer, stronger prayer life.
e. But it’s a difficult discipline.
f. Investment of time. Requires our effort.
Mark 14.38 "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Prayer is a difficult discipline but it’s also…
2. Prayer, It’s ALSO A delightful discussion.
a. When we pray we are involved in the sweetest, most intimate discussion with the Creator of the universe.
b. He hears us, He answers us, He encourages us…
Robert Murray McCheyne once wrote, "What a man is on his knees before God, that he is, and nothing more."
3. A lot of people talk about prayer.
a. In fact 70% of Americans say they pray every week.
b. 57% say they pray every day.
c. Even MADONNA & BRITTNY SPEARS say they pray before every concert!
d. Even though that sounds very spiritual and very good, for some people, praying is an act of futility.
e. In order for prayer to be effective, there needs to be relationship, commitment, & submission.
f. There needs to be a connection between God & man.
Jeremiah 29.11-13 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
NOTE: DANIEL is a great example of a prayerful believer!
• His life was bathed with and surrounded by prayer.
• Remember back in CH6, it was his prayer life that got him in trouble with Kind Darius silly law!
• His enemies couldn’t find anything evil in his life, so they took something good and called it evil!
Daniel 6.10-11 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. 11 Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
SO IT SHOULDN’T SURPRISE us to find Daniel praying as we open up CH 9. He’s reading & praying, searching & seeking!
I. (9:1-2) MOTIVATION: THE WORD.
1. (1-2) The Word Brings Excitement.
a. Daniel was serious student of the Word.
b. We meet a man who reads his Bible and prays.
c. These are 2 activitities that go hand in hand.
d. Here we find Daniel reading the prophet Jeremiah and it’s stirring him up!
NOTE: Daniel read that and knew that they were at the end of the captivity. The time was up! He was an old man now.
• He had lived through it all and now he’s seeing the end!
• Daniel read that and his heart rejoiced! But it didn’t end there.
• From v3-19 we read his heartfelt prayer.
Jump to v20. Notice, the prayer of Daniel was EFFECTIVE.
• He received the answer even before he finished!