Punished for praying

Date: Thursday, September 18

ScriptureDaniel 6:16-24

Verse: Then Daniel answered the king: “Long live the king! My God sent his messenger, who shut the lions’ mouths. They haven’t touched me because I was judged innocent before my God. I haven’t done anything wrong to you either, Your Majesty.” (Daniel 6:21-22)

PrayerChangesThingsSomehow, my room assignment for my first year in college was on the floor with all the freshman football players. I’m pretty sure I was the only non-player on the whole floor. It was a little awkward at first, but one of the great benefits of this arrangement was that throughout my college career, I had some very big friends. They were physically intimidating, and often made me feel safer. I wonder if that is how celebrities feel when they are around their bodyguards. Sure, bodyguards are trained and can actually take care of most threats that may be made against someone in the spotlight, but having someone powerful around can make otherwise large problems seem much smaller.

When Daniel was thrown in the lions’ den, he did not go in alone. He was there among all those sharp teeth and powerful claws, but one who was even greater was right there with him. It is King Darius who tells us this when he says, “Your God—the one you serve so consistently—will rescue you.” Somehow all the dangers of the lions paled in comparison to a God who is even better. It was Daniel’s prayer that landed him in the lions’ den, and another prayer that sustained him through it.

Now, I don’t know about being among real lions, but you and I know what it is like to be surrounded by difficulties and potential threats. Prayer is our way to cope because “prayer changes things.” I’ve seen that bumper sticker, and I believe it. But sometimes the most important thing prayer changes is me. Sometimes the circumstances don’t change — the problems may be as big after months of prayer as they were when you started, but oftentimes it is our attitude toward them that changes. Knowing that God, who is in control and greater than any problem we might face, is on my side, often gives me the courage to stand among some lion-sized problems.

Prayer: Dear God, rescue me from my lions. Amen.

Action: Reflect on how know God is in your corner might make your lions seem far less powerful.

Respond: Have you ever had people in your life who have made you feel safe?

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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One Response to Punished for praying

  1. Lisa says:

    One lady I remember dearly is Ruth, a friend of my mom’s. Ruth would come over and talk with me when I was in high school and trying to run things when my mom was out of commission due to alcoholism. Ruth just treated me like a grown-up and showed me that she cared, and understood, and it was going to be okay.

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