Prayer

May 23, 2019
by Sharon Cook

I love to read, so I haunt thrift shops and yard sales for interesting titles. Recently, I found an old one, Prayer, Conversing with God, by Rosalind Rinker (Zondervan, 1963). As often happens when I begin to study a topic, I see similar Scriptures and examples everywhere in my daily readings.

This is so true of Daniel, who was a man of prayer. I've heard these stories often, but with my recent focus on prayer, I'm reading them in a different light. For example, interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's dream became a matter of life and death.

Daniel 2:17-18 – Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. (NIV)

They evidently did pray, for the Lord revealed the dream and its interpretation to Daniel, and the lives of the wise men were saved.

A few chapters later, Daniel's exemplary life angered the other officials. To target Daniel, they convinced the king to issue a decree that no one was to pray to anyone but the king or they would be thrown in the lion's den.

Daniel 6:10 – Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. (NIV)

The king was anguished at having to implement his command against Daniel, but he did. We know "the rest of the story" — as Paul Harvey used to say — God protected Daniel. At the first light of dawn, the king rushed to the den. He was amazed and grateful that Daniel was unharmed, and he proceeded to throw Daniel's accusers — and their families — into that same den. Their gods didn't protect them!

I haven't been confronted with situations as dramatic as these, but there were some that seemed pretty desperate when I was going through them. Thankfully, I can remember some — but not all — when I turned to the Lord in anguished prayer for a solution. I pray that we all can remember that God understands our needs, and that, like Daniel and his friends, we can turn to Him in prayer anytime and anywhere.

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (NIV)

Prayer: Father, we don't want to be anxious and full of worry. We want to submit our lives and all our situations, good or bad, to You. Give us the desire and the will to do that day by day, minute by minute. We pray this in Your holy name. Amen.

About the author:

Sharon Cook <craftercook@gmail.com>
Apache Junction, Arizona, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing a good reminder, Sharon.


    Thank you.
    I need to pray more often.


    Outstanding story and prayer. Fantastic encouragement/support.
    Thank you so much.


    Thank you, your meditation this morning is a strong help to me… and I love my memories of Apache Junction as well. Again, thank you.


    Hi Sharon,
    Enjoyed the devotional today. So true, our God is present and always comes through for us in the way He seems best in all our times of need. Thanks for sharing.


    Thanks for your devotional. over 50 years ago I met Rosalind Rinker and loved her teachings on conversational prayer. Years ago, I also discovered a math formula for Phil. 4 6 and 7 adds up to verse 13, and the prayer verse 6 added to 13 brings you to 19. Blessings.


    Dear Sharon,
    Thank you for another special devotional. Yes, there is so much comfort in taking our anxious moments to our Lord. He truly is our help and strength.
    Blessings for your thoughts in writing about the importance of prayer.
    (B.C.)


    I have been struggling with a sense of something holding me back in my life and cried out to the Lord about it: fear. It is a deep-seated fear that I have carried all my life. My mother was sick and then died when I was a small child. I think that is the root. But I have known that the Lord has been with me also all my life and that whatever I have achieved, it has been His Spirit in me and by His strength. So why is that fear still there? This is my meditation for today so thank you for your thoughts this morning. I think the answer for me lies in acknowledging that I truly can do nothing without Jesus, and there are abundant scripture to consider, such as Paul saying that it is Christ who works in us and through us. The song that comes to mind is Rock of ages. It is a song I have never liked, song often as a dirge but “nothing in my hand I bring; simply to Your cross I cling. Naked come to You for dress…etc.
    So, thank you. And appreciating Robin for the way the Holy Spirit guides him and gifts us all.


    Thank you for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.


    Great devotional Sharon! Thank you for the message!


    Thank you, Sharon, I love your writings! I was always taught; God helps those who help themselves. I believe this instead; God helps those who ask Him for help! It’s good to be reminded the Lord is always there and that He cares. I need to also remember those around me carry burdens too. Who can I help today Lord? Blessings.


    Dear Sharon:
    Thank you again for reminding me about prayer and how we can call on God and He is right there the moment you need Him. There is no one else like Him anywhere!
    May the Good Lord bless you.


    Thanks, Sharon Cook, for your message.
    I think of the hymn, “Take it to the Lord in prayer.”
    Keep writing.

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