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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Guilty of Praying (Daniel 6:5)

 "Finally these men said, "We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of His God."

Daniel's prayer life was the one thing that the royal administrators could safely bet on. He didn't have a porn problem, a lust for power problem, a pride problem or a pill problem. They had nothing on Daniel--nothing that they could use to entrap him. The one constant, the one thing they could find him guilty of in Daniel's life was his prayer habit--three times a day! Since they had no unrighteousness to use against him they used his prayer life against him by having the King issue an edit against prayer to anyone or any god besides King Darius.

Daniel was less afraid of lions than he was of living an ungrateful life and independent from God. After all, prayerlessness is living independently of God. Most people would readily give up prayer for thirty days in order to save their life. Not Daniel. Prayer to him was like oxygen to lungs--you can't live without it. Praying against the King's orders promised to take Daniel to a place of immediate danger and death. Daniel, however, would rather die than to cease praying. His life depended upon it.

What does your prayer life say about your spiritual condition?

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Ezra 1:1-4:
The exiles returned to Israel in three waves (in 538, 458, and 444 B.C.). The first was led by Zerubbabel where they began the rebuilding of the temple. The second return was under Ezra where the people began to return to their covenant obligations. The third was led by Nehemiah who led them to focus on obedience to the Lord and the rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Ezra wrote to encourage the remnant to respond to God's mercy by true worship and fulfilling their covenant obligations.
  • Read Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10. How long had God promised Israel that they would serve the king of Babylon?
  • What did Isaiah prophecy 150 years earlier about Cyrus in Isaiah 44:28; 45:1? What does this tell you about God?
  • What instruction does Cyrus give regarding the temple in Jerusalem?
Daniel 6
  • What prompts the administration and satraps to plot against Daniel? What does this tell you about people in powerful positions?
  • What is the only thing they can come up with against Daniel?
  • How do they trick the king into entrapping Daniel?
  • How does the king feel about Daniel? What is his view of Daniel's God?
  • How does God protect Daniel? What does this tell you about God?
  • What happens to those who sought to have Daniel killed?
Ezra 1:5-2:20
  • What prompted certain exiles to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem?
  • How were those involved who remained in Babylon?
  • Where had the temple articles been for 70 years? What does this tell you about God?
Nehemiah 7:4-25
  • What does Nehemiah understand about his position before the king? What does this tell you about God?
Turning truth into prayer: God works on both fronts (both in Babylon and in Jerusalem) and involves different people (Daniel, Cyrus, Darius, Ezra, and Nehemiah) to accomplish His purposes. Ask the Lord to open your eyes so that you can see how He has intersected your life with others in order to accomplish His Kingdom purposes in your life and in this generation.