Developing the Habit of Prayer
Scripture References: Psalm 55:17; Daniel 6
Are you a person of prayer? What does it mean to be a person of prayer? What is prayer? A requirement. A necessity. A lifestyle. Yes, prayer is all of these things and much more, but space, time, and my own human limitation preclude us from developing an exhaustive list here. The truth is while we may not be able to elucidate all of the intricacies if prayer, we can by the help of the Holy Spirit be people of prayer. More than this we can and should develop the habit of prayer.
In my own quiet time last evening and this morning I was meditating of Daniel chapter 6. While many will remember the lions, Daniel's enemies, and the pagan king he served, we forget certain other facts. Do you remember that Daniel's enemies could find no fault in him concerning the administration of the kings affairs? Do yo recall that Daniel's enemies were aware of Daniel's regular pattern of prayer and worship? It was due to this latter reality that his enemies were able to devise what seemed to be an effective plot to remove him from his place of "power."
Daniel's enemies did not realize that this prophet's true place of power was not his government appointment, but rather it was being on his knees before God in prayer. For those of you who remember Daniel's story he was a teenager when he was deported from Israel to Babylon. As a political exile Daniel and his friends purposed that they would serve God faithfully, even in a foreign land. At the time of the story recorded in Daniel chapter 6, the prophet is over 80 years of age. For those of us who do not add sums that quickly, it means for 60 - 70 years Daniel has been a man of prayer! Daniel was not just a man of prayer, but was given to habitual prayer.
The man of God prayed three times of day as was the custom of the Jewish faithful. His prayer times would have been approximately morning (9 a.m.), noon (12 p.m.), and evening (3 p.m.). It was because Daniel had this habit in prayer that he was vulnerable. According to his enemies this was the only "weakness" they could exploit for their benefit. As you may or may not know the plan backfired. Daniel was rescued by God, and his enemies were all destroyed by their own plan.
I believe God wants us to develop the habit of prayer. First, habits have the property of becoming instinctive reflexes in those who have them. We do it without even thinking about it. Second, habits can become "necessities" we do it because we think about it all the time and cannot live without it. Third, habits become addictive, we do it because we have a consuming desire for it. Let us be consumed by the desire for fellowship with God in prayer. Are you ready? We will call upon the Lord morning, noon, and night. in the place of habitual prayer, it is true that we find God, but more importantly God finds us in the place of need and delivers.
Intercession Focus: There are three things we are standing in the gap for today. First, we are praying for our enemies. God is calling us to be light in the world. Today, pray for the difficult people in your life, bless them and do not curse them; in other words speak well of your enemy. Second, pray for the lost who are in your circle of influence. Pray that seeds of the gospel would be sown into their lives and watered. Third, let us be moved to a place of true repentance individually and corporately. Pray for God's attitude (hatred) towards sin in your own life. And, pray for the power to viciously stand against it in your daily affairs.
Praise Report: God blessed me to share my faith and connect with two more people in need of salvation. Truly this is a work of God alone, I am just trying to be available to the Spirit. Our God is faithful to his Word.
Bishop W. R. Turner