Daniel 2:17-24 Video Devotional

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, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”

Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation.” – Daniel 2:17-24

This is incredible. Daniel, in full confidence back in v16, tells Arioch to set time with him in front of the king. Catch that for what it is: Daniel scheduled time in front of the king before he had the answer to the dream and its interpretation! Talk about bold! Daniel knew, even though he didn’t have the answer yet, that he would get it, and fearlessly chose to step up. Then he went to pray about it. Pulling together the other three, they took it to God and asked for the answer. And God provided. Daniel responds in praise and thankfulness.  

What stands out to me in this passage is that more “ink” is spent describing Daniel’s response to the prayer rather than the time spent in the prayer. God provided the answer pretty quickly – no fasting, no agonizing over it, no drops of sweat – just prayer and trust for the answer. Now, Daniel was seeking a factual answer to a problem he needed to figure out – no “why” questions or “how” questions, just “what”. So this may not apply to all prayer, but I think there are a few things we could learn from this.

First, he wasn’t looking for a specific answer. I wonder how much time we spend in extra prayer because we don’t like the answer we receive? I think we spend a lot of time pushing back, because we aren’t getting the answer we want in prayer. Now, Daniel wasn’t emotionally invested in the dream or its interpretation, so he wasn’t looking for a specific type of response. He just wanted the answer and left everything else up to God. That would be good for us to practice as well, whether or not we are emotionally invested in prayer. His answer is more important than what we want (“Not my will, but yours be done.”)

Second, he prayed and went to bed. Once he got the answer, Daniel spent more time on being thankful for the answer. How often do we go back to God after getting the answer and actually thank Him for it – let alone coming up with a poem of praise? How much time do we spend being thankful to God? What do you thank Him for?

I am not saying prayer should be quick. I am saying that we tend to overemphasize the answer we want and forget the time we should spend afterwards in praise. Maybe we should turn that around – look for His answer and then thank Him for it (regardless of what the answer is). Try it out – experience the results for yourself. Then see what kind of boldness God might instill in you.

Acts 4:29-31 Video Devotional

“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:29-31)

This is a great verse to memorize. This is shortly after Peter and John are at the Jewish Council where they were threatened not to spread the gospel anymore. They chose the bold path and continued to preach Jesus everywhere they went. They didn’t deny their suffering or the risks ahead, but went to the other believers and shared everything, thus allowing the believers to be in prayer for them.

Prayer is such a huge ingredient in spiritual success. It connects us to God, puts us in a humble position to listen and seek the will of the Lord. When we pray for God’s will to be done, we are not asking for what we want, but for what He wants – it lets the Spirit work freely in our hearts when we have an attitude of submission to Him. And that’s what the believers did in praying for Peter and John.

When they did that, notice the response of the prayer. It wasn’t just effective for the apostles, but for everyone who participated and led to even more of an impact with more people speaking the name of Jesus with boldness. When we get out of our own way, let God’s will reign in our soul and stop trying to do what we think is best, incredible things will happen.

Be encouraged, friends! If you pray for boldness to share the gospel, it is very likely that you will receive it, as it is God’s will for us to make disciples (Matt 28:19). Therefore ask freely, but be prepared and know that you will then need to use that boldness and will be opposed. Know that there are consequences for following God (mostly good, though you will be subject to spiritual warfare). Pray the above verse for yourself and your church family – let’s see what happens!