Thriving in Balylon – Prayer
Many believers are caught out when bad things happens to them. Ps 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. Note the emphasis in this verse: “Many are the afflictions” The righteous do suffer. Already in the first 4th page of the Bible, Cain killed Able. He did nothing wrong, he did what was right and was murdered.
Take [with me] your share of the hardships and suffering [which you are called to endure] as a good (first- class) soldier of Christ Jesus 2 Tim 2:3 See this sharp warning by Hudson Taylor the famous missionary to china and later Africa about Christians seeking comfort rather than war. http://www.inthebeginning.com/articles/chocolate.htm
Many are healed and even raised from the dead, for God is a God of miracles. Yet many does not receive these wonderful blessings… Is God at fault? Did He forget? Is He not the God of love? He certainly is a merciful and loving God, faithful and just but some receive their reward not on this life according to the Faith Hero List in Hebrews 11. “Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.” Heb 11:36-40
Rejoice in Suffering: According to the Bible Suffering is good for you. Therefor Rejoice! The anecdote “no pain no gain” come to mind on the wall of a Gymnasium. God uses the good and the bad in our lives, both is His servants. So it should be for us.
James 1: 2–4; Romans 5: 3–4
God chastens those He love. We instinctively know this and want discipline. Love without discipline is flaky and idealistic. Love and discipline is interconnected and cannot be separated. We cannot have the one without the other. Hebrews 12: 5–13
Discipline begins at home. This is true also for the household of the Father. We do not discipline and scourge naughty children that is unknown to us, and where we have not received the permission from these children’s lawful guardians. 1 Peter 4: 17 In the same way God always begin His discipline IN His house. Thus the Babylonian exile being the result of the Jews not complying to God’s law and instruction for a long time. Discipline is to move the child from point A to B. It is not punishment for the sake of punishment. A wrong and sinful lifestyle has devastating consequences to the partaker and all those in close proximity. Therefor, because of God’s Love nature, He needs to discipline.
The book covers the period of the exile from 605 bc, when Nebuchadrezzar first took captives from Judah to Babylon (1:1, 2), to 537 bc, 2 years after Cyrus of Persia defeated Babylon (10:1). For the captives, this was a time of painful reflection. Did loss of their land mean that history was no longer under God’s control?
Daniel suffered Many things:
– He was subjected to a Godless King To begin with, Babylon’s king was a godless ruler named Nebuchadnezzar. He was an egomaniac, known to be hotheaded, murderous, vain, unreasonable, and incredibly cruel. Daniel 2: 5–12; 3: 1–6, 13–15; 4: 27–32
– His name was changed from DANIEL “God is my judge” to BELTESHAZZAR (May the Lady [wife of the god *Bel] protect the king’).
– Suffered and punished as a result of the evil of others: Israel’s harlotry
– He was exceptionally talented, and lost his ambition and dreams: Daniel 1: 4
– He lost his future offspring – he was made an Eunuch: Daniel 1: 3, 7, 9, 18
– He had to live amongst a dark and evil foreign culture.
– He was unwillingly enrolled in wizard and occult school.
He did not only survived but trived.
Daniel was a teenager when he was taken from Jerusalem into captivity by the Babylonians in 605 b.c. He was in his 80s when he received the vision of the prophecy of the 70 weeks (Daniel 9). In more than 60 years of his life in Babylon, Daniel faced many challenges. But in all those years, he grew stronger in his commitment to God. He persevered throughout His life, and finished strong. He past the TIME Test!
He remained faithful and learned to thrive in Babylon, serving as a Minister and Seer under three Kings Nebuchadrezzar, Belshazzar and Darius, and witness all three of them acknowledged His God. Daniel 2:47; 6:20; 10:12 He remained a WITNESS!
He proved his holy lifestyle to the Eunuch, and King and was promoted. Dan 1:8-20 He purposed in His heart not to defile himself. When a young person do not purpose in their hearts not to sin, not engage in premarital sex, or go to certain parties they will eventually give in to the pressure. Daniel made up his mind that the Jesus-life is the best way to live life. He did not DEFILED himself yet excelled 10x better!
He did not only thrived, they could not find any fault in Him. Dan 6:4 So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. His character was blameless. Faithfulness is a wonderful character trait, necessary to achieve promotion. A faithful student complies to the rules, obeys the instructions and homework given, and succeeds top in their class. It is an universal rule of success. His character remained exemplary!
Daniel excepted these catastrophic circumstances as God’s doing. He never complained or murmured, but sought the will and way of God in the mists of these difficulties. Like Jesus he learned obedience through the things he suffered. Heb 5:8 He kept His faith!
The source of his character was his devoted prayer life – he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Dan 6:10 “as was his custom since early days” In moments of crisis, Daniel turned first to God in prayer before turning to the affairs of state (Dan 2:14–23). This is the most important step in achieving personal victory & breakthrough in times of trials and persecution. Go wait and seek the Lord first. Mat 6:33 Apostolic people’s conversations are filled with “this morning God showed me… yesterday the Holy Spirit revealed… God said I should…” etc.
Daniel’s PRAYER LIFE:
1) Daniel was righteous: ‘The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.’ James 5:16 The prayer of the righteous is to pray from the righteousness of the Son. No begging, trying to get in. But through hIs righteousness we pray having boldness. Heb 10:19 The basis and platform of our standing before God, is having received His righteousness. Our confidence is not in what we have done, but what He has done.
2) First he searched the scriptures for prophetic intend. Dan 9:2 We do not pray mystical prayers toughing in the dark vague and uncertain. Like Elijah we pray according to God’s instructions. He had to pray for the rain to stop, and again to let it begin again. Like Jesus we pray already knowing what His will is. This kind of prayer is what we call governmental prayers.
3) “Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes” His prayers was not an intellectual exercise but filled with emotion and zeal for the lost. His soul was in anguish for His people. May God give us to feel His heart again.
4) And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, Dan 9:3-4 He stood in the gap through identifying with the sins of his people. He did not accused them before God. this is what satan continually does. Rev 12:11 He interceded: Like Nehemiah: (Neh 1:6-11) and Abraham: (Gen 18:23-33)
MAKE PRAYER PART OF OUR DAILY LIFE:
James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray
The best way to council people is to get them to pray.
– Find a prayer partner that is close at hand in your workplace and pray together on a regular prescribed time.
– When praying for the meal, pray for another based on the needs discussed in recent conversations.
– When discussing a person in their absence, pray for that person before departing.
– When someone mentions a need, pray for them right there and then.
– Fast on a regular basis and use the time you would have spend eating for prayer.