The King’s demand was bizarre. It’s hard enough to try to interpret a dream once you hear it, but King Nebuchadnezzar was adding a new twist to it all.
“Not only do I want you to interpret my dream, I want you to remember it for me – because I’ve forgotten it. The content of the dream has escaped me completely. Think hard because if you can’t tell me, your heads will roll.”
Nasty consequences to say the least! A rather brutal penal system.
Obviously, none of the magicians of the day could meet the King’s demand. So, the edict from the King was swift and sweeping. Not only were the magicians and astrologers implicated, every wise man also faced the grim prospect of being cut in pieces – even Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.
Daniel wisely suggested to the King’s captain that the execution order was a bit hasty. He asked for more time to consider the forgotten dream. Daniel went back to his apartment and told his three friends. The next recorded scene is awesome. The four young men had a spontaneous prayer meeting.
What’s so thrilling about that? Well, these were young guys far away from home and from their parents. Under very difficult circumstances, they had attended the pagan-saturated University of Babylon. Perhaps they were still living in the campus dorm – in the heart of darkness. But they were still living for God. Here’s what it says:
Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery… Daniel 2:17-18
They still knew how to pray. Their first impulse, when at risk, was: “let’s pray.”
Is praying a part of your culture when you get together with your friends? Does your group feel comfortable praying together – or would someone snicker?
Sadly, many of us grew up in a culture where prayer seemed to be limited to either a private practise at home alone or to a local church setting, where we prayed-like-troopers / warriors. But, rarely did we enjoy fellowship together in spontaneously praying together in living-rooms, cottages, vehicles or coffee shops.
If your parents’ generation seldom prayed informally together with their friends, would you like to help blaze a new trail with your cohorts? Would you like to do your part in making spontaneous, informal, on-the-spot prayers a part of your circle’s normal activities?
If your friends piled into a car for a weekend camping trip or for a Bible conference, would it be too awkward to pause momentarily to pray? You could briefly ask that God would protect you on the road, guard you from talking about wrong things and that you would have a good weekend.
It’s not too late to start praying with your friends – even if it hasn’t been the norm in the past. We’re all scared of being labeled a holier-than-thou Christian. Yes, your friends know the fun side of you, and you may be afraid they’ll think you’re being artificial or hypocritical by suggesting a quick prayer-time together. Get beyond that fear.
Have a little discussion with your group. It might go something like this:
“Hey, I was reading something lately. The article challenged Christians to intentionally create a culture where spontaneous prayer becomes the norm. We should try it. We should pray together when we are planning to do something or if one of us has a problem. It might feel awkward, but we should start doing it. We don’t have to pray long – we can just spontaneously pause to pray. When any one of us has the impulse to pray, let’s give ourselves permission as a group to interrupt whatever we’re doing and pray – even if it is just a 20 second prayer.”
Lead by example.
Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer … Romans 12:12
Praying together will deepen your relationship with each other and with God.
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ
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