Someone once described a habit as “something you can’t stop doing”. How great is that in terms of a prayer habit? Can you say you “can’t stop praying”?
That’s exactly what Daniel said. We read in Daniel 6 a great story of a man who had a prayer habit. He could not stop praying. His life was even put on the line . . .and he still prayed.
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.Daniel 6:10
Did you see it? It said, “as he had done previously.” Daniel had a prayer habit. He couldn’t stop praying . . . even for 30 days.
Read Daniel 6 to experience the full story. Here’s a recap. Daniel was one of the highest 120 officials in the territory of King Darius.
Daniel was an impressive individual who was distinguished and of excellent spirit. Because of the type of person Daniel was, the King wanted to put Daniel in charge of the Kingdom.
The 119 other leaders didn’t like that. They were jealous and wanted to be rid of Daniel.
They could find nothing Daniel had done wrong. The only thing they could say was “this man prays, he has a prayer habit.” They thought, “we can catch him in that and be rid of him.”
So the leaders set out to do just that. They contacted King Darius and told him he needed to set up an agreement that no one could pray to any man or deity for 30 days. King Darius thought that was a great idea, so he signed it. The punishment for anyone who broke the agreement would be an escort to the lions’ den.
That’s where our verse comes in. When Daniel knew King Darius had signed this decree, it didn’t make him stop praying. Daniel had established a prayer habit. He went to his home and prayed, as he had previously done.
You may remember the rest of the story, but let me tell you what happened. Daniel was “caught” in the crime, and put in the lions’ den. King Darius was sad he had signed such a decree. He wanted to spare Daniel, but had no legal way of doing so. Daniel was dropped down in the lions’ den. The stone was put over the door. The king sealed the closure and returned to his home to spend the night fasting, with no entertainment, and sleepless.
Early the next morning, King Darius went to the lions’ den and called out to Daniel. Here’s their conversation – “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” Daniel 6:20-22
You may be thinking the one benefit of a prayer habit is that you’ll get all your prayers answered just the way you want. Well, that may be true. But the more important benefit for Daniel and for us comes in verse 23. “So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”
Did you see the one benefit of a prayer habit? HE HAD TRUSTED IN HIS GOD. Daniel was able to trust God for whatever the outcome of his circumstance because he had spent time, lots of time, without being able to stop, in communication with God.
When we have a habit of prayer, one benefit is we trust God. Do you need more trust of God? Maybe you need to work on your prayer habit.
Daniel had a choice of not praying for 30 days. “It was just 30 days!” It would have saved his life. He was a valuable person for the kingdom. He could have prayed to King Darius to make an exception for him before he got caught. Instead, Daniel chose to continue his habit of prayer though he had a really great excuse for not praying.
WOW! The benefit Daniel got by having a habit of prayer was trusting God through a whole night in the lions’ den. When Daniel got out of the lions’ den, do you think Daniel would say “I’ve had enough of this prayer time. I’ve conquered the lions. I think I’ll cut back to only praying two times a day”? I don’t think so. I think the TRUST IN GOD Daniel experienced would have so energized him that he absolutely was not skipping his prayer habit. He may have even increased his prayer habit.
How’s your habit of prayer? How is your trust in God? Read Daniel 6 today and be encouraged to cultivate a habit of prayer, reinforce a habit of prayer, or begin a habit of prayer. A habit is, “something you just can’t stop doing”. The one benefit of a habit of prayer is TRUST IN GOD.
Written By: Anne Gurley