Thursday, October 30, 2008

HELL-SHAKING PRAYER

When the book of Daniel was written, Israel was in captivity to Babylon. And by chapter six, after a long life in ministry, Daniel was eighty years old.

Daniel had always been a praying man. And now, in his old age, he had no thoughts of slowing down. Scripture makes no mention of Daniel being burned out or discouraged. On the contrary, Daniel was just beginning. Scripture shows that even as this man turned eighty, his prayers shook hell, enraging the devil.

King Darius promoted Daniel to the highest office in the land. He became one of three co-equal presidents, ruling over princes and governors of 120 provinces. Darius favored Daniel over the other two presidents, putting Daniel in charge of forming government policy and teaching all the court appointees and intellectuals (Daniel 6:3).

Obviously, Daniel was one busy prophet. I can only imagine the kinds of pressures placed on this minister, with his busy schedule and time-consuming meetings. Nothing, however, could take Daniel away from his times of prayer; he was never too busy to pray. Prayer remained his central occupation, taking precedence over all other demands. Three times a day, he stole away from all his obligations, burdens and demands as a leader to spend time with the Lord. He simply withdrew from all activities and prayed. And God answered him. Daniel received all his wisdom, direction, messages and prophecies while on his knees (see Daniel 6:10).

You may ask—What is the prayer that shakes hell? It comes from the faithful, diligent servant who sees his nation and church falling deeper into sin. This person falls on his knees, crying, “Lord, I don’t want to be a part of what’s going on. Let me be an example of your keeping power in the midst of this wicked age. It doesn’t matter if no one else prays. I’m going to pray.”

Too busy to pray? Do you say, “I just take it by faith”? You may think to yourself, “God knows my heart; he knows how busy I am. I give him thought prayers throughout the day.”

I believe the Lord wants quality, unhurried time alone with us. Prayer then becomes an act of love and devotion, not just petition time.