What are your prayers worth to you?
Really take a minute and consider your prayer life. Examine your conversations with the Creator. What would you be willing to sacrifice to keep those times with Him?
In the book of Daniel, King Darius passes a law that makes it a capital offense to pray to anyone or anything other than himself for a 30-day period of time. If you were caught breaking this law, you were thrown into a den of lions to be devoured. I fear that, if I were completely honest, after reading this passage in Daniel my thought process would be, “Thirty days of not praying wouldn’t be so bad.” I could survive without prayer for a month, right? But for Daniel this was not an option:
But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. —Daniel 6:10
Daniel’s first response after discovering that it was unlawful to pray to the One True God was to go to his upstairs room and pray to the One True God. Not talking to God was simply not an option. Why are Daniel and me so different? Why would Daniel rather give up his life than his prayer time and I would find it easy to skip out on God for a month?
Could it be that we actually pray differently? A majority of my prayers could be summarized as “Give me…” ramblings where I attempt to remind God of all the things I need Him to do for me. Daniel had actual conversations with God where they took turns speaking and listening.
Could it be that I view prayer as a luxury and Daniel saw it as a necessity? If I pray today then great but if I don’t then I’ll just try again tomorrow. Daniel saw prayer the same as most of us view food; he had to do it at least 3 times a day because it nourished him.
He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.
Could it be that Daniel’s prayers gave him direction and my prayers come after I’ve made decisions? God revealed to Daniel how to interpret dreams and lead his exiled people and other facets that guided his Godly life. I typically make decisions and then retroactively ask God to bless them.
Could it be that Daniel actually enjoyed talking to God as one does a spouse or best friend and I sometimes see prayer as an obligation? Daniel, very literally, was willing to die rather than go one day without talking to God. My prayers, on the other hand, are sometimes fueled by guilt rather than desire.
I don’t think Daniel would have risked his life for my prayer time. What about you? Do you have a prayer time worth dying for?