Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 105

Corporate Prayer continued...

I would surely be remiss if within our list of examples highlighting the power of corporate prayer I did not include Daniel the prophet of the Lord.

During the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, he had a dream…so far, nothing out of the ordinary. Anxious to know the interpretation of the dream, the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, and so, they came and stood before him.

The king informs those who had gathered before him that he had a dream, and all too anxious to serve, they inquired as to what the dream was, so they might interpret it for him.

Now here is where it gets interesting. Not only did the king want his dream interpreted, he wanted his magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers to likewise tell him what his dream was.

In realizing the impossibility of this, since all who had gathered before the king were idol worshippers and knew not of the power of the one true God, they informed the king they could not do as he requested. Nebuchadnezzar’s mind having been made up, and his decision having been firm, the king informed those who had gathered before him that if they could not make the dream and the interpretation known to him, they would all be cut to pieces.

Try as the sorcerers and magicians might, they could not get the king to relent, and after repeatedly telling him what he was asking for was impossible, he grew angry and gave the command that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed.

Daniel 2:12-13, “For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought Daniel and his companions to kill them.”

Although Daniel had not been among those who stood before the king, since Scripture would have informed us if this were the case, because he and his friends were considered among the wise men of Babylon, they were also sought so they might be killed.

Sometimes you get stuck in the middle of a situation unintentionally, and without having done absolutely anything to facilitate finding yourself in said predicament.

Through no fault of their own, other than being considered among the wise men of Babylon, Daniel and his friends were now being hunted and sought out.

Daniel 2:14-16, “Then with counsel and wisdom Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon; he answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, ‘why is the decree from the king so urgent?’ Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel. So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation.”

Daniel was oblivious and wholly ignorant as to the why of the king’s purging of his wise men. As would likely occur today, rumors were flying about as to why the king was having his wise men killed, and rather than take other men’s words for it, Daniel went to the man tasked with the deed and asked him why the decree from the king was so urgent.

Upon hearing what had occurred, Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, and if given the time, he would tell him the interpretation of his dream.

What I’ve always found interesting concerning this exchange, is that unlike Elijah, Daniel had not received word from the Lord that the dream would be revealed to him, or that the interpretation would be forthcoming, but standing on faith, and knowing the power of his God, Daniel made this promise to the king.

Daniel 2:17-18, “Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.”

Seeing as he’d gotten a little breathing room, Daniel did not proceed to plot his escape out of Babylon, nor did he proceed to see who he could bribe in order to receive a special dispensation from the king. Daniel went to his companions – the selfsame three men that would soon be standing in a fiery furnace – and asked them to seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning the king’s dream.

Once again we see a handful of souls united in prayer, once again we see a handful of souls agreeing and petitioning God, and once again we see God answering, and miraculously so.

Daniel was already a man of prayer, he prayed three times per day without fail. Yet, in this situation, he saw the need for others to agree with him, and unite their hearts with his.

Consider the absolute trust Daniel and his friends had to have in God. Consider that there was nowhere else to go, no one else to turn to, and the only means of prolonging their lives and not perishing with the rest of the wise men of Babylon was if God did a real-life, bona fide, tried and true miracle. A miracle was the only way Daniel could have known what the king’s dream was, and what it meant.

We can try to do certain things on our own…God won’t stop us. But like Nebuchadnezzar’s magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers, there will come a time when we will say, ‘this cannot be done.’

In the great scheme of things, universally speaking, surprisingly few things are possible with man, but nothing is impossible with God. Daniel knew this lesson, and knew it well. He knew his God was the God of the impossible, and if he and his friends united their hearts and agreed as one, if they sought the face of God in unison, He would be faithful to answer, and reveal that which had been hidden.

Daniel 2:19, “Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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