Heritage Message August 2003
Heritage Worship Service
Daniel - A Man Of Prayer
August 31, 2003
A kindergarten class went to the fire station for a tour and some instruction in fire safety. The fireman was explaining what to do in case of a fire. He said, "First, go to the door and feel the door to see if it's hot." Then he said, "Fall to your knees. Does anyone know why you ought to fall to your knees?" One of the little kids said, "Sure, to start praying to ask God to get us out of this mess!"
That child understood the importance of prayer. Do we?
Daniel was a man who prayed and teaches us to pray.
Daniel was helpless.
Like everyone else.
Worse than helpless, his life was at stake! 2:12, 13.
Other wise men tried to get the king to tell the dream so they could fake the answer. They and the king knew that they didn’t know how to answer.
Was Daniel any different?
Could Daniel know the dream?
What did Daniel have that the others did not have?
2:18 - He “urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven.”
2:28 - “there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.”
Oma in Russia.
Three ministers were talking about prayer in general and the appropriate and effective positions for prayer. As they were talking, a telephone repairman was working on the phone system in the background. One minister shared that he felt the key was in the hands. He always held his hands together and pointed them upward as a form of symbolic worship. The second suggested that real prayer was conducted on your knees. The third suggested that they both had it wrong--the only position worth its salt was to pray while stretched out flat on your face.
By this time the phone man couldn't stay out of the conversation any longer. He interjected, "I found that the most powerful prayer I ever made was while I was dangling upside down by my heels from a power pole, suspended forty feet above the ground."
What are the areas in your life where you can’t?
Being a good example.
Knowing your future.
Changes in life.
When you can’t… pray!
II. UH HU!
A fisherman who was out of fellowship with the Lord was at sea with his godless companions when a storm came up and threatened to sink their ship. His friends begged him to pray; but he demurred, saying, "It's been a long time since I've done that or even entered a church." At their insistence, however, he finally cried out, "O Lord, I haven't asked anything of You in 15 years, and if You help us now and bring us safely to land, I promise I won't bother You again for another 15!" "The Prairie Over-comer:"
Is that what God wants?
Tell story briefly.
Daniel prayed regularly
6:10 - prayed towards Jerusalem 3 times a day.
Even though threatened with death, he continued to pray.
6:13- still prayed three times a day.
Prayer in a crisis will not come naturally unless we make prayer a daily habit.
Habits and being real.
It has to do with our reason. Do we want to know God? Do we want to develop a relationship with him? If so, then daily, regular prayer is a good habit.
How can we make prayer a daily habit?
Insert it in the same place every day - a time which won’t always be sabotaged(vacation).
Begin with a time that you can manage.
Develop habits of prayer - include similar elements - praise, confession, petition & thanksgiving.
Make a list of people, items to pray for.
Sometimes, just sit in the presence of God.
Attitudes in Prayer
Danger of arrogance, carelessness. Daniel demonstrated two attitudes that are important in prayer.
Tell story of Daniel 9
A. How Serious Are We?
9:3 - turned to the Lord, pleaded with him, prayer and petition, fasting and sackcloth & ashes.
10:2, 3 - fasting and mourning - deepest kind of prayer.
This is a matter so serious that it takes extreme measures.
Not every prayer needs to be like that, but sometimes, that kind of prayer is required.
Will we give up a meal or some other activity to pray?
9:18 - "... We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy." It is only God's mercy that brings his forgiveness.
That humble attitude is important in prayer.
10:12 - The purpose of his prayer was to “gain understanding.”
The attitude of prayer was “to humble yourself before God.”
9:19, "O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act!"
notice that three times he repeated “O Lord.”
What happens when we pray?
The answers Daniel experienced
9:23 - as soon as you began to pray an answer was given.
10:12 - assurance that an answer came as soon as prayer began.
10:13 - Evil resistance to the prayer in the heavenly realms.
There is a battle.
Prayer is part of that battle.
No prayer is ever forgotten. Revelation 8:3,4 - “Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.”
Prayer was simply a part of Daniel’s prayer.
Is prayer a part of your life?