My beloved, the privilege of praying in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, which under grace is extended to every child of God, lends to prayer a characteristic which lifts it to an infinite degree above every other form of prayer that ever was or will be. Thus, the practice of prayer should be given careful attention by every faithful believer who has accepted Christ as Savior of their life. It is most important that believers observe regular times of prayer, which includes not only praise but the believer presenting his/her own needs to the Lord and interceding on behalf of others.
While writing this post my thoughts were of Daniel. Children love to hear the Bible story of Daniel in the lions’ den (Daniel 6). However, that account has many valuable lessons for all of us in that:
(1) Prayer is a lifelong task
Daniel was at least 80 years old when this story took place. Yet, Scripture says he prayed and gave thanks to God “three times that day … as was his custom since early days” (v. 10). Daniel had been a man of prayer his whole life, from his youth in Jerusalem, all the way through his 65 years in Babylon.
(2) Faithfulness is an undeniable testimony
When Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den, Darius said, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you” (v. 16). Daniel’s testimony of trust in God was well-known (vv. 1-4), even to a king who wanted people to worship him instead of God.
(3) God rewards our faithfulness
Daniel was spared “because he believed in his God” (v. 23). As a result, the king told his people to turn their faith toward God. Daniel continued to prosper under the reign of Darius (v. 28).
It’s very simple. As his children, if we are faithful in prayer, in service, in studying His Word and in witnessing, God will reward our faithfulness, as He did in Daniel’s life.
Prayer Changes Lives
The story has been told that while crossing the Atlantic on a ship, author and Bible teacher F. B. Meyer was asked to speak to the passengers. An agnostic was present and listened to Meyer’s message about answered prayer and told a friend, “I didn’t believe a word of it.” Later that same day, the agnostic went to hear Meyer speak to another group of passengers. However, before he went to the meeting, he put two oranges in his pocket. On his way to the meeting, he passed an elderly woman who was fast asleep in her deck chair. Her arms were outstretched and her hands were wide open, so as a joke he put the two oranges in her palms. After the meeting, he saw the woman happily eating one of the pieces of fruit.
“You seem to be enjoying that orange,” he remarked with a smile. “Yes, sir,” she replied, “My Father is very good to me.” “What do you mean?” pressed the agnostic. She explained, “I have been seasick for days. I was asking God somehow to send me an orange. I fell asleep while I was praying. When I awoke, I found He had sent me not only one but two oranges!” The agnostic was amazed by the unexpected confirmation of Meyer’s talk on answered prayer. Later, he put his trust in Christ as His Savior.
Our Father in Heaven even cares for the small stuff. The tree-cutting was going well when one of the workers broke his borrowed ax, and the iron head fell into the river (2 Kings 6:4-5). “Where did it fall?” the prophet Elisha asked (v. 6). When the man showed him the place, Elisha threw a stick into the water and “made the iron float” (v. 6). “Pick it up for yourself,” he said. So the man “reached out his hand and took it” (v. 7).
My brethren, this miracle recorded for us in God’s Eternal Word illustrates a very simple but profound truth: God cares about the small stuff of life, such as a lost ax head, lost coins, lost keys, lost rings, lost files, lost contact lenses, the little things that cause us to fret and worry. He does not always restore what was lost (for reasons of His own), but He understands our loss and comforts us in our distress.
I can recall when my best friend’s grandchildren were grieving over some small loss, and my heart was touched with their grief. The broken or mislaid thing had no meaning for me, but it wasn’t trifling to them. It mattered to me because it mattered to them, and his grandchildren mattered to me. And so it is my beloved with our heavenly Father. Our small worries mean everything to Him because we mean everything to Him. We can cast all our care on Him because He does truly care about us (1 Peter 5:7).
God cares about our cares because He cares about us.