Summary: The people of God pray with perspective.
WHERE TO GO
S: Perspective in prayer
Th: Live a Prayer Life (Prayer: A Passion for His Presence)
Pr: THE PEOPLE OF GOD PRAY WITH PERSPECTIVE.
?: How? How do we pray?
TS: Using Daniel’s prayer as an example, we will find three directions to take enabling us to pray with perspective.
The _____ direction we should take is…
RMBC 29 Sep 02 AM
ILL Notebook: Perspective (sloth)
A sloth is out for a walk when he’s mugged by four snails. After recovering his wits, he goes to make a police report.
"Can you describe the snails?" asks the officer.
"I don’t know," replies the sloth. "It all happened so fast."
Well, that’s a different perspective, isn’t it?
We all have a viewpoint on things.
Each one of us, because of our individual characteristics or the variety of our backgrounds, thinks about things differently.
Sometimes our perspective can be helpful and encouraging.
And sometimes, it can be just the opposite.
ILL Notebook: Perspective (antique dealer)
Take for example…
…Amy and Jamie, who are old friends. They have both been married to their husbands for a long time.
Amy is upset because she thinks her husband doesn’t find her attractive anymore. "As I get older he doesn’t bother to look at me!" Amy cries.
"I’m so sorry for you, as I get older my husband says I get more beautiful every day." replies Jamie.
"Yes, but your husband’s an antique dealer!"
As helpful as perspectives can be at times, we must realize that the challenge for the Christian is to have God’s perspective.
This is the aim of today’s study.
Today is the last Sunday of our discipleship emphasis.
Our theme has been…
1. “Live a Prayer Life.”
It has been our goal, this month, for us to realize as a church family, that prayer is an essential.
It is a spiritual discipline that we must do.
But at the same time, I want us to realize that prayer is much more than a task.
It is a joy.
Throughout this month, we have been using the example of Daniel.
2. Daniel was a man of prayer.
First, let us note that…
2.1 He prayed with people (2:17-18).
In Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had decided to kill all his wise men because they could not tell him what his dream was, thus they were not able to tell its meaning.
When Nebuchadnezzar made this decision, it unfortunately included Daniel as well, though he had not been a participant in the proceedings up to that point.
So listen to the text for Daniel’s solution…
Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Daniel knew that it was essential that they pray together.
It was not optional.
It was essential.
And as a result, God gave him the knowledge of what Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was, and its meaning.
But this is not all we learn from Daniel, for…
2.2 He prayed with perseverance (6:10).
Much later in his life, Daniel was a very high official for a king named Darius.
But there were many of Darius’ officials that were jealous of Daniel and deceived Darius into signing a law that people could only pray to him, and no other god.
They did this knowing that Daniel would be unlikely to compromise on such an issue.
Here how the text describes Daniel’s response…
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.
Their anticipation of Daniel’s reaction was right on.
He would continue praying.
Of course, the officials reported it, and so for Daniel’s insubordination, he was thrown into a hungry lions’ den, as the law was written, much to the dismay of Darius.
But because Daniel was man of integrity and a man of prayer, God saved him.
Last week, we saw the heart of Daniel, for…
2.3 He prayed with passion (9:3).
Daniel had been studying the Word of God, spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, and noted that the people of God were going to shortly return to Jerusalem.
But as he looked around, no one was ready to go.
No one wanted to go.
And this grieved Daniel.
He knew it wasn’t right, because God was not done with His people.