An illegal prayer

Date: Wednesday, September 17

ScriptureDaniel 6:10-15

Verse: When Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went to his house. Now his upper room had open windows that faced Jerusalem. Daniel knelt down, prayed, and praised his God three times that day, just like he always did. (Daniel 6:10)

Maslow's hierarchy of needs slightly amended.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs slightly amended.

The Beatles taught us “All You Need Is Love,” but that might not be completely true. I remember learning as a student that human beings have three basic needs: nourishment, clothing, and shelter. You can survive if you have those three things, but we know a good life requires several more things. We need to be educated, to be loved, to know how to take care of our bodies and minds, and to be in relationship with others (you might be able to think of several more things). We are fortunate to take many of those things for granted in this country. They are readily available and, for the most part, affordable. For example, we don’t have to think about the water we drink. We just go to faucet, twist a knob, and out flows safe, clean water.

Daniel knew of another deep need we can sometimes take for granted — prayer, an integral part of our relationship with God. The document that Daniel learned had been signed was one that made prayer to anyone other than the king illegal for 30 days. Daniel’s response was to retreat to his room to pray to and praise his God, our God, “just like he always did.” It would have been much easier to take a break from prayer for a month, but Daniel would have none of it. Despite the threat of punishment, Daniel would not allow anything to interrupt his times of prayer from God. In fact, in a time when the king is making a relationship with God illegal, Daniel knew he had to pray for things to change.

For Daniel making prayer to God illegal was like making water illegal. He couldn’t live without it, so he prayed. It seems Daniel knew his prayers were far more important than a meaningless edict that was only going to last 30 days. Daniel’s choice to pray anyway, was an acknowledgment that while the king may have some power, there is a power far greater. Daniel chose to obey God rather than Darius. He needed to.

Prayer: Teach me, O God, so that my prayer life can be as vitally important to me as it was for Daniel. Amen.

Action: Give thanks to God for the needs in your life that are so readily met, you sometimes take them for granted.

Respond: What are some things we say you need, but aren’t really needs?

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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