Prayer has the marvelous power!!
Sermon brief of Daniel6
By Rev.Taisuke Usui
Now : Daniel shows us how prayer is important and how its power is strong.
Objective: I want the people to reconfirm that prayer is more powerful and important than we expect.
We pray many times and many kinds of situation. The time before we eat something, before we travel somewhere, the time in trouble, sickness, or happiness. We can say that prayer is one of our life habits. We know prayer is most important matters as Christian. But one day I asked very strict question to myself “How much do I pray seriously when I pray?” “How much do I trust my prayer?”
I answered “Whenever I pray, I am serious, ALWAYS!!” “I know God listen my prayer every times”
The one in me tried again to me. “Do I really, really, put highest priority to your prayer whatever happened on me?” I said “Yes!!” But later I confessed that I was still sinners.
I didn’t have the Luther’s experience “I am too busy so I must pray 3 hours a day” when I look back my life in this situation, I just worked harder, of course I prayed, but honestly, I didn’t take such a long prayer. I felt like my conference for prayer is weaker than Luther. I am embarrassed but it is true. I want to grow my spirit more.
So today’s sermon might be for me. I hope we can share same spirit through this time.
Today I want to deal with the power of prayer through Daniel 6
The book of Daniel has 12 chapters. The structure of this book is very easy, 6stories and 5 visions.
And Daniel 6 “Daniel in the dens of lions” is one of the most famous story in the old testament. When I was child, of course, before I received Jesus Christ, I heard this story from somewhere and someone I can’t remember.
Here is Daniel 6 ----to read the whole Daniel6 -----
Let me summary this story.
The time was about 5or 600 B.C. in the Kingdom of Mede after Babylon. Israelis was captivity in this kingdom. There was the one Israelite gay whose name is Daniel and he was the highest place like a prime minister in this Kingdom because of his intelligence and ability.
One day, He was trapped by other administers and satraps. It might come from jealousy. They asked the kind to issue one edict that anyone who prays to any god or human being except king shall be thrown into the lions’ den” because they knew that Daniel prayed to God everyday and he never quit it. The king accepted their suggestion and he issued it.
Of course, Daniel didn’t quit his prayer to God because of this edict. The king loved Daniel and he really didn’t want to do it but he could not abolish his edict, too. So Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den. But lions didn’t do anything to him and he survived from there. The king was angry to the gays who plot and they and their families were also thrown into the lions’ den. They were crushed and killed before they reached the floor of the den.
Now I want to notice how Daniel prayed and how God reward him.
How did he pray?
Verse 10 described his prayer “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before”
We can see 6 special features in his prayer.
He prayed at home
He prayed in upstairs room where the windows opened
He prayed toward Jerusalem
He knelt down and prayed three times a day
His prayer was giving thanks to his God.
He prayed just as he done before
1st.he prayed at home. He worked at palace but he went back to his home for his prayer. He wanted to concentrate on his prayer and palace was not good for it. So he placed importance on his quality of prayer. Was his work easy? No. It must be one of the busiest in this time because his position was highest minister. It means his position was most important in this kingdom. But he took his time for his prayer even three times a day.
2nd, He prayed in upstairs room where the windows opened
So the group of administers and satraps could catch his prayer. Daniel didn’t want to show his prayer to someone because he did same way before. His prayer is still personal.
He could change his way of prayer after the decree was issued but he didn’t. Did he challenge this decree?
I don’t agree. He knew God is much stronger than the King’s decree. In other words, he knew the decree could not handle his life, only God could handle his life. So to pray as usual is very natural action for him.
3rd. He prayed toward Jerusalem. His eyes were on Jerusalem. He might see the picture of which his fellow and Ezra were reconstructing the temple of Jerusalem. In the time of Old Testament, there was Jerusalem in the earth but now we have Jerusalem in us. When we pray, we should put our eyes on Jerusalem in us like Daniel did.
4th. He knelt down and prayed three times a day
It describes his prayer is not quick prayer. Kneel down prayer is not usual for us. We don’t do it every our prayer. We do it in the serious situation. but for Daniel prayer is always enough serious to kneel down. And he did three times a day!!
5th.His prayer was giving thanks to his God.
He should pray for his serious situation coming after because he knew he must be thrown into the lions’ den for his prayer in this time but he didn’t. He knew that the decree was meaningless before God. He just gave thanks to his God as usual. What a great confidence!!
We pray when we have something to ask to God. But do we pray for giving thanks to God as much as asking something?
When my spirit rupture like Daniel, my prayer might be just giving thanks to God because we have enough confidence on that God gives us just good things which we feel hard in our hard time.
6th. He prayed just as he done before
Nothing can influence his prayer!!
Now let us exam how God reward him.
In verse22, Daniel said “My god sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me”
Some recognize this angel is the spirit of Jesus Christ before he had flesh in this world.
Anyway, Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den. When the plotters were thrown there, the lions devoured immediately. The place was like that. It was the place with absolute destroy and death.
Let us draw the picture of that Daniel in the lions’ den.
How did he spend whole night, from dusk to dawn? The lions were sleeping in peace beside him. He spent time with the angel. He enjoyed the experience of glory coming from overcoming the absolute destroy and death with the angel. He enjoyed the experience of God deliverance closer. He might reconfirm that God whom he prayed to three times a day is true God for whole night with spirit of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes I wonder that his experience was kind of the foretaste of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 which we have never experienced in this world. Jesus Christ was there and God’s glory was filled with, no death and it was just in peace.
Each person has each hard experience in our life. For instance, our health, financial, human relationship, in family, car accident, and so on.
I have a quick and very simple question to you. Is there somebody who has the experience of putting the place where we must be torn and killed within a few seconds in our whole life?
The lions’ den represents such an extremely hard situation.
Actually, Daniel was thrown into this situation we have never experienced. But in this situation, he experienced marvelous glory. It just comes from his prayer.
We know prayer is very important and it has the power.
But we need reconfirm that prayer has such a wonderful power more than we expect.
Prayer makes our faith stronger and brings us closer to God.
Prayer brings the highest peace and glory even in our worst situation.
Everything is for being glory to Him in the Church and in Jesus Christ. Amen