Day 1 January 7: Spiritual Hunger and Holiness
Psalm 51:10-12: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of my salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Daniel 6:10: Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
It was Daniel’s practice, three times a day, to go to an upstairs room in his apartment, open the windows facing Jerusalem, get down on his knees, and pray to the one true God. No doubt, Daniel prayed at other times also. He probably prayed throughout the day. But there were these special times, set aside times, where it was his priority to meet with God in prayer. In fact, it was such a priority to Daniel that when the king passed a decree that for the next thirty days people could only pray to the king, Daniel was unfazed. “No way.” Daniel may have been an important official in Darius’ kingdom, but when the king’s law (don’t pray) conflicted with God’s Law (pray), the choice was clear. Daniel just kept right on praying.
Read Daniel 6. Daniel was thrown in the lion’s lair, but God protected Daniel, delivered Daniel, honored Daniel, and put it in the Bible for all to see.
Of the many truths in this stunning chapter, one concerns Daniel’s prayer. Three times a day, he set aside a special time to pray. God nowhere commands us that we must do the same, but there is wisdom here. Wisdom would suggest a special time, or several briefer times, set aside each day to meet with God in prayer. A time we prize. A time we protect. A time we prioritize.
We should want to pray throughout the day, an ongoing conversation with our Father. But it is wise to also have a special time of prayer each day. Maybe it’s not a long time, but it is your time, as in you and God.
It is your time to talk and listen and be together, no matter what else happens that day. Your time to connect. During that time, God will fill you up, restore your soul, and prepare you for whatever the day brings.
• Describe your thoughts around Daniel and his commitment to the Lord.
• What special time will you set aside in the next 21 days to talk and listen to God?
Lord, awaken my heart to Your love. Give me an increased hunger to spend more time in prayer, worship, and Your Word. Please give me a greater awareness of Your holiness, a tender conscience, and a heart to please You in every thought, word, and deed.