Todays readings.. 2 Chronicles 25, Daniel 6, Acts 5&6
In Daniel Ch. 6 today we have clear evidence that this wonderful man, now in his old age, was a man who had a regular prayer life. We read of those who are jealous of the opinion the king holds of him and look for ways to discredit his loyalty to the king. They confer together and decide; “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.” [v.5]
They persuade the King to issue an ordinance banning the making of petitions (i.e. prayers) “to any God or man for 30 days except to you O King” [v.7]. Now “when Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God as he had done previously.” [v.10]
Those jealous of his standing reported this to the King which, because such laws are regarded as immutable, led to Daniel being put into the Lion’s Den; his miraculous preservation followed. The most significant part of this story for us is that Daniel was a man of constant prayer, daily in communion with the only true God. In chapter 10 we will read of his distress at the awesome visions given to him: a heavenly being then comes and says, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you: be strong and of good courage.” [v.19]
In our Acts reading, we note the reasons why the disciples decide to appoint deacons. The number of believers being baptised and joining the church had become so many that the need for more and more organisation was becoming necessary.
With their appointment the disciples now said, “we will devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word” [6 v.4]. What an example this is to all who seek to effectively follow Christ and it reminds us how those baptised on the day of Pentecost, how they “devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.” [2 v.42]
How well do we follow these examples? We must each search our hearts to give a true answer to this question – our answer will show whether we have become – or are becoming “strong and of good courage.”
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