I thought I would share something from the book of Daniel, but I thought it might be helpful to first, know a tiny bit about the time when the book of Daniel was written. You see, at the time the story begins, Israel was taken captive by Babylon, but by the time you reach chapter six, after Daniel had already had a long life in ministry, he was eighty years old.
Daniel had always been known as a man of prayer. And, that habit had been known to get him into some trouble, but by chapter six, he got to be an old guy, oops, I mean, elderly, but evidently had no intention of slowing down. Scripture doesn’t tell us anything about Daniel being burned out or discouraged. On the contrary, Daniel was just beginning. Scripture shows that even as he turned eighty, his prayers shook hell, and enraged the devil. I hope my prayers will be when I’m 64 . . .
Interestingly, King Darius was so impressed with Daniel, he promoted him to the highest office in the land. He became one of three co-equal presidents, ruling over princes and governors of 120 provinces. Darius had elevated Daniel over the other two presidents, putting Daniel in charge of forming government policy and teaching all of the court appointees and intellectuals (Daniel 6:3). That was something significant.
Obviously, Daniel was one busy prophet. I can only imagine the kinds of pressures that were placed on him, with his busy schedule and time-consuming meetings. However, and this is what you to notice, nothing could take Daniel away from his times of prayer; he was never too busy to pray. Prayer remained his central occupation and took precedence over evey other demand.
Three times a day, he stole away from everyone of his obligations, burdens and demands, and why? To spend time with the Lord. He simply withdrew from whatever other activities he may have had to pray . . . and the Lord answered him! Scriptures states that Daniel “. . . got down upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had always done . . .” (Daniel 6:10). What that is saying is Daniel received all of his wisdom, direction, messages and prophecies while on his knees. And while on his knees he was able to shake all of hell!
Now, I have made statements like that before, and inevitably, someone will ask me, “What is the prayer that shakes hell?” And my normal explanation is that it comes from the faithful, diligent disciple who sees his nation and church falling deeper into sin. He waste his energy getting angry — or start making accusation and pointing his finger at poor preaching or what is taught in school or anthing else. Instead, he weeps, identifies with the problem and calls out to the Lord. He falls on his knees, crying, “Lord, please forgive us. I ask you to pour out your Spirit on all flesh that they may see your Glory. Let me be an example of your power in the midst of this evil. It doesn’t matter if no one else prays. I am going to pray.”
Oh man, that’s good preaching! Let me ask, are you too busy to pray? Do you say, “I just take it by faith“? You may think to yourself, “God knows my heart; he knows how busy I am. I give him thought prayers throughout the day.” Well, I believe the Lord wants quality, unhurried time alone with us. Prayer then becomes an act of love and devotion, not just petition time, or prayers when it is convenient.
Hey! Here are some thoughts: do you drive? Then you have time to pray! Do you watch TV? Well, shut it off and you will have a lot of time to pray. Do you spend extra time eating a second serving or finishing your pie? Well, push them aside, and you will find the time to pray. Do you see what I am getting at? Move your time to pray up the list of your priorities and your Father will meet you there.
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