Pray with Passion
Daniel 2:13–23, 27–28a
Some games we played as children seem to be as old as time itself. We would be hard-pressed to trace the origins of hide-and-seek. The rules are obvious and the winner is clear. One person secures a clever place to hide and after the warning count is completed, the seeking begins.
We would be wise to incorporate some hide-and-seek philosophy into our prayer lives. Many times, Jesus rebuked the practice of public prayers. Rather, He instructs us to find a secret hiding place and seek Him.
There is nothing wrong with public prayers, but perhaps you have experienced the honest and deep moments in the life of a believer through needed times of isolation with the Father. Daniel’s commitment to prayer is an important theme of the book of Daniel.
When problems arise, choose to seek God. Daniel (13–16)
We often rush to prayer when a problem or adversity raises its head. That is not a bad thing but perhaps a predictable one. When it comes to a crisis, we should go to the Lord in prayer.
However, have you ever known someone who calls you only when they want something? Are our prayers only requests for God to fix something, or are they acts of worship and adoration for the One who hears those prayers? Daniel could pray with confidence. He knew to Whom he prayed and wasn’t only looking for a quick fix to his situation.
Pray and expectantly seek God’s wisdom and guidance. (17–19)
How great it is to have friends pray with you! The church I pastor has a churchwide prayer list, a text prayer chain system in place, a men’s prayer group, Sunday School class prayer time, a time of prayer before the worship service begins and a midweek time of prayer.
Do you know what the purpose is? To pray!
I am convinced a church will be no greater or healthier than the prayer life of its members. When we pray together, we worship in unity.
Prayer is the most personal expression of worship, and to do so with fellow Christians is a powerful statement and act of faith. When faced with an obstacle, Daniel encouraged others to petition God with him.
Acknowledge God as the source of the answer. (20–23, 27–28a)
A popular sentiment that is often repeated is that prayer changes things.
May I offer a small tweak? It could be said, “The God we pray to changes things.”
Prayer is neither a formula nor an art. It is an acknowledgment of the Almighty and appreciation for His desire to commune with and reveal to us His attributes and purpose for our lives.
Daniel did not only want an answer from God; he also wanted God! We pray believing God will answer our prayers in some form or fashion.
Even if God chooses not to answer our prayers, we should not forget that the relationship we have with Him remains and that is sufficient for our walk with Him.
Get alone with God in good times and bad. Hide and seek in your prayer life.
It may not be a game but you will never lose!
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi