Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice” (Psalm 55:17).
Before spring arrived this year, I was eager to be planting my garden. I had seedlings of tomato and broccoli and tiny herbs, all growing up in little pots. Some I put under grow lights, others I put beside our patio window. As the seedlings grew, I watched them straining to get closer to the pale sun outside, as if they were yearning to be one with the sun.
When I wake up in the morning, I feel a similar pull. I yearn to absorb the presence of Jesus and be together with Him as I start my day. I especially love to go to my Quiet Place before anyone else stirs because in that quiet, I can hear more plainly the voice of Jesus. I can turn my heart toward Him, just as a flower turns toward the rays of the sun. I need this blessed hour of prayer even more than a plant needs light. For as I pour out my heart to Jesus, He fills me with the power of His life. It’s easier for me to think of Him through the day when we begin the day together. Somehow, I remember that He’s with me and the pull of sin doesn’t pull me down.
But once a day just doesn’t seem enough! I need more of His presence to be one with Him and reflect His goodness all around me. I want to walk closer to Jesus–just as if we were walking in heaven.
It’s one reason I am taking time to pray like Daniel. If we could step into the pages of the Bible, we’d find Daniel on his knees talking to His Father in heaven. Even after the king signed the law, forbidding anyone to pray to God for 30 days, Daniel “continued to go to his house, which had windows in its upper room open toward Jerusalem” and he got “down on his knees three times a day to pray to his God and praise Him, just as he had done previously” (Daniel 6:10, NRS).
Nothing interfered with Daniel’s prayer life. It was his lifeline to heaven. Through prayer, “Daniel placed himself on the side of God, to keep His ways, [and] the Lord placed Himself on Daniel’s side, to keep him” (Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, pg. 23). God read Daniel’s heart and poured Himself into His son so he could be a faithful witness to the power and love of God.
Daniel is one of the few people in the Bible that was so near to Jesus that we find no blemish in his life. Throughout his captivity in Babylon, he stood boldly for God in a heathen land. He never wavered in his allegiance, never compromised his faith, and always stood for truth and principle.
He was truly a picture of Jesus and a testimony of the power of prayer! How much we need to be like Daniel. For even greater tests will come to us as we near the second coming of Jesus. God needs faithful witnesses today who will perfectly reflect the character of Christ and stand unflinching for His truth. But to be like Daniel, we must pray like Daniel–not here and there, or merely once a day, but three times a day, keeping our gaze lifted upward into the heavenly places. For Christ is able “to save to the uttermost all those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).