“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.”
Daniel 6:10
According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions, while the vast majority have failed by January 12! It is easy to have good intentions, and even easy to begin a new chapter with a burst of energy and renewed passion. Setting goals is relatively easy, whether that goal is weight loss, or regular exercise, or healthy eating, or whether the goal is a consistent devotional life, and a regular time of prayer. While short-term commitment may not be difficult, disciplined consistency comes much harder to us!
When the edict that forbade prayer had been signed by Darius, Daniel did what he always did – he got down on his knees three times a day and prayed. By now, Daniel was an old man, and he had lived most of his life in the exile of Babylon. And in that foreign land, he had disciplined himself to form a pattern of praying three times a day toward Jerusalem, the dwelling place of God. Undoubtedly, some days his prayers may have seemed dry and flat, while other days he enjoyed sweet communion. But nothing deterred him from the pattern of prayer that he had long established.
Surely there is a direct connection between Daniel’s great courage and his link to Heaven’s power through continual prayer. As we live our lives as exiles in this earth, uncertain as to what the future may bring, we do well to discipline ourselves to form a pattern of regular, consistent communion with our God through prayer. Kevin DeYoung has written an article entitled, “The Glory of Plodding”, in which he states, “Daily discipleship is not a new revolution each morning…it’s a long obedience in the same direction.”
Finally, know that when you fail, your Saviour never ceases to intercede for you! Scripture offers great comfort to those who are feeble, and find in themselves a great tendency to fail and fall: “if we are faithless, he remains faithful” (2 Tim. 2:13)! In this great Saviour is all our hope!