You have made it a whole week through the 31-day #newselfchallenge! Way to go! Now we move on to another habit that is equally important: daily prayer.
Our week will be filled with helpful, practical tips for prayer. However, none of things will matter unless you reach the conviction that daily prayer is not only important for the Christian life—it is imperative.
Daniel provides us with a stunningly bold example of this. After Daniel was taken into captivity and chose a different diet than the other slaves, after he interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, after he saw his friends cast into a fiery furnace, after he saw Nebuchadnezzar go animal-like, after he interpreted the handwriting on the wall at King Belshazzar’s feast, after all of these huge, major events in Daniel, we come to chapter 6.
Some high-ranking men in the kingdom decided that they do not like Daniel and they find a way to make him fall: by creating a law against prayer. They bring this suggestion to King Darius and he signs it. Daniel 6:10 says:
“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.”
After coming through all of the trials that he endured, Daniel has a great respect for the power of the Lord and—consequentially—the power of prayer. So to him, it does not matter whether or not he is risking his life by praying, he sticks to his habit of praying three times a day. Daniel saw a truth that we need to recognize before we can go any further in this habit challenge or in our Christian walk as a whole:
Trying to live a godly life without daily prayer is like trying to win a battle without soldiers.
If the Bible is our weapon, then the Lord is our fighter. We are weak and broken and cannot “fight the good fight” as 2 Timothy tells us to do. At least, not without the help of Christ. We are crippled, automatic losers of the fight if we are not daily, hourly, every moment calling upon the name of Jesus Christ, who rescues us from the mire of our trespasses. We are doomed, destined to fail without prayer. It is as though we are walking through a massive desert and we reject the clean, pure water that is readily available to us.
Neglecting to pray daily is a massive pitfall that many Christians fall into. I plead now with you—do NOT view prayer as an optional part of your day. It didn’t matter to Daniel that he had other things going on (like being a high official in a thriving nation) or that he had every reason to not pray (it was basically accepting death). Be a Daniel in a world of chaotic lives devoid of prayer. Accept the water in the desert. Without it, you will not survive.