Saturday, June 25, 2011

June 25, 2011 … Integrity Is Devoted to Prayer

Passage of the Day: Daniel 6: 10 - 11 … 10 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. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.

My Journal for Today: For today’s devotional in John MacArthur’s, Strength for Today, the Author states flatly, “There is a direct link between prayer and integrity (for the Christian).” As we read in today’s passage, it was the faithful discipline of Daniel’s prayer life that prompted the already jealous Medo-Persian officials in the court of King Darius to establish a law against praying openly to Daniel’s God. And here we live in a world today where there are those in influence and political power who have already attempted to strip prayer by legal means from the public arena. And, many of these power mongers would like to wipe the Name of “God” from all public interactions. Take note now, as I write this, our “king’s court” are doing all they can to keep military chaplains from invoking the Name of “Christ” from any public prayer in the military; and hate crime legislation is being formulated in Congress which, as it is in Canada and Sweden, would make it a “hate crime” to preach homosexuality as a sin from a Christian pulpit. So, even today the integrity of believers in God is being tested much the same as was Daniel in the times of today’s text.

As MacArthur above states, we see that Daniel’s public display of disciplined prayer signaled his spiritual integrity, as prayer does, especially public prayer, in our lives as Christians. It is God’s will that we pray to Him (see Col. 4: 2 and 1st Thess. 5: 17 below). And it was so for Daniel as well; and his willingness to pray openly to His Lord was his public witness to his faith in the one, true God.

SCRIPTURE: Col. 4: 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
SCRIPTURE: 1st Thess. 5: 16 – 1816 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Are we committed to God and His will, as was Daniel, … so committed that we’d be willing to risk our very life, or at least be imprisoned for our commitment to prayer, by standing for our God by kneeling in prayer … just as He demands of His believers? Seeing military Chaplains being told they cannot pray “in the Name of Christ” and the political trends of the day, it is not difficult to imagine a time, not too soon in the future, when Christians may face a ban on public references to God, which will be most evident in limitations on our prayer to our Lord in public. Where will we stand – or kneel – for our God? Will we be believers with the integrity of a Daniel?

My Prayer Today: Lord, I pray that I will always declare Your Name to honor You, especially in prayer. Amen

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