The other day in prayer, God directed me to Daniel 6. It is a story that we all know and love. Sometimes, I wish I could read the story with fresh eyes, without any knowledge about what is going to happen to Daniel. Because we’ve heard these stories so many times, I think sometimes we forget just how miraculous they are. I would have loved to have seen the story from Daniel’s perspective. What was going through his mind when he stepped into the lion’s den? Did he believe that God would save him?
Prayer prepared Daniel for the lion’s den. His prayer life didn’t happen once he entered the lion’s den. No, his prayer life was established long before he had to face the terror of this situation. While we don’t know what was going through Daniel’s mind, or whether or not Daniel knew that God was going to save him, we do know this. Daniel was a man who was known for his prayer life, which means we know that he had a close relationship with the Lord. Thus, Daniel trusted God, even when he ended up in a situation that seemed hopeless.
While we do know what happens next in the story of Daniel, we don’t know what happens next in our own stories. But, there is something that we can do, before we ever have to face the lion’s den. We can develop a prayer life. As a Christian, our prayer life is the most important aspect of our lives. It is the channel by which we communicate with God. Without it, our relationship with Him would be shallow or non-existent. How many of you have close relationships with friends whom you never talk to? Right. It’s not a possibility. You may think you have a close relationship with someone you never talk to, but what you think and what you know are two completely different things.
Knowledge of God is good. But, knowing God is something entirely different. Knowing God, rather than mere knowledge of God, is what leads to a life of sure faith in times of steadfast uncertainty. We come to know God through prayer. So that when we end up in the lion’s den, we don’t question God’s authority. There is a trust that has already been established, that knows that He walks with us, every step of the way.
Prayer not only prepares you for the lion’s den, but it keeps you while you are in the lion’s den. It is the covering by which you are protected, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Without prayer, you will allow the atmosphere of the lion’s den to get to you. With prayer, you have authority to change the atmosphere of the lion’s den.
Don’t wait until you are in the lion’s den to develop a prayer life. Once you get into the habit of prayer, you will realize that just like oxygen, it is absolutely necessary to staying alive. And, the best part about developing a prayer life? You don’t have to wait. You can start today. It doesn’t have to be perfect. God simply wants us. He is already standing at the door.
Revelation 3:20 states, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come to him.”
That is God’s promise. You don’t have to get all cleaned up or have your life together before you approach Him in prayer. Prayer doesn’t have to be intimidating. You can talk about everything with Him. He wants to hear it all. One of the things I’ve realized is that it isn’t always answered prayers that is the most powerful aspect of prayer, but that through prayer, I come to know my King better.
My pastor recently talked about the importance of prayer in our lives. He said, “The things that are unseen are eternal things. When we commit to prayer, we are taking on eternal things, an eternal glory. We can proclaim the name of Jesus over our homes.” -Pastor Micah Johnson.
You change the atmosphere when you begin to pray+in Jesus Christ, you have authority. I hope you are encouraged to keep praying, even when you don’t see anything happening. Because behind the scenes, there is a whole lot more going on than we even realize.