Do you have favorite places in Scripture you gravitate toward? I do, and for quite some time now, Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians have held my interest. I return there day-after-day, it seems, studying and desiring to understand those two great letters (1 and 2 Thessalonians) in light of what I see happening in our world today.
I am especially drawn to the short, but mighty, chapter of 2 Thessalonians 2. Paul warns of a time when there will be a great falling away (apostasy) just prior to the man of sin (Antichrist) being revealed. Apostasy will overtake people who walk away from the faith, and even churches will fall away. We see clear signs of it already.
What can we do to avoid it? Is it only the “super-spiritual” who will resist apostasy? Does the Bible have answers for us? I believe so. In fact, there are many Biblical lessons we could learn about standing strong in the face of evil, and avoiding a great falling away. Today, though, we will talk about the example of a specific man who lived in a very challenging period of time. This man was taken captive, along with his fellow countrymen, wholly unlike their homeland. They were taken away due to disobedience of their nation (sound familiar?), and they learned to live in a pagan land.
The man is Daniel, and we’re talking about the Jewish captivity in Babylon.
Despite it all, Daniel remained committed to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He knew some key things we would be wise to emulate. Daniel was a man of prayer, and a man of deep conviction. It was in prayer that God gave Daniel the interpretation of the king’s dream. It was because of his refusal to cease from prayer to the One True God that got him thrown into the lion’s den. And it was the faithfulness of the One to whom he prayed that kept Daniel alive! I want to be like Daniel, don’t you?
Recently I read an article about Daniel and how he “rolled up his sleeves” in prayer as he sought God’s direction for he and his captive people. He knew the captivity would soon be over, and he wanted to be prepared for what God had in store for the future. Likewise, our “captivity” on earth is nearing its end, and not only should we strive to occupy till Jesus returns, but I want to be prepared for what’s next! So, I’m studying how Daniel did it, and I’m attempting to build some of those same habits into my life.
How do we pray like Daniel? Let’s learn it together by examining 3 keys to Daniel’s prayer life:
Remain steadfast, dear friends! We’re living in times of apostasy. Pray like Daniel, be as bold and committed as Daniel, and stand strong until the end! Fiery furnaces and hungry lions are no match for our faithful God!