Today, I'd like to pose a question.
Not just any questions. It is a deep question, I pose not only to, but for myself as well.
Begin to imagine with me that one day the US government comes on T.V., much like they do, and say "Word from the White House." Imagine that we were to see our president step behind that podium and tell the American people that we are forbidden pray for the next three days.
Reactions might vary from "No big deal right? I mean, it's just three days?" to "What, what is he talking about? Our government can't control us like that. They can't tell us what to do. The president shouldn't be able to take away our rights to religion" and everything in between.
So that brings me to a couple questions. If that scenario were indeed true, would I be more concerned that the government was trying to control me or would I be more upset with my legal inability to communicate with Jesus Christ? Now you take a second to think about that. What would your response be? If we are upset that our legal rights are being infringed more than we are heartbroken over the loss of freely communicating with our Savior - who gave everything for us - then the question should be - who are you worshipping?
Next question. If our government were to take it a step further, and say that if anyone is caught praying, he/she would receive a 2yr prison sentence, how would you then react? Would you react in the way I wrote earlier - no big deal right? I mean, it's just three days? Or would you take the risk and go ahead and pray? 2 years is a long time to be away from your kids, parents, spouse, your bed, your stuff, your freedom.
Lest you think this is just some silly analogy, this scenario has not only been a reality, it was strongly enforced.
Let's take a look into a part of Daniel's life.
Daniel 6:1 -3 Darius reorganized his kingdom. He appointed one hundred twenty governors to administer all the parts of his realm. Over them were three vice-regents, one of whom was Daniel. The governors reported to the vice-regents, who made sure that everything was in order for the king.
6 -7 The vice-regents and governors conspired together and then went to the king and said, "King Darius, live forever! We've convened your vice-regents, governors, and all your leading officials, and have agreed that the king should issue the following decree:
For the next thirty days no one is to pray to any god or mortal except you, O king. Anyone who disobeys will be thrown into the lions' den.
8 "Issue this decree, O king, and make it unconditional, as if written in stone like all the laws of the Medes and the Persians."
9 King Darius signed the decree.
10 When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising his God.
11 -12 The conspirators came and found him praying, asking God for help. They went straight to the king and reminded him of the royal decree that he had signed. "Did you not," they said, "sign a decree forbidding anyone to pray to any god or man except you for the next thirty days? And anyone caught doing it would be thrown into the lions' den?"
"Absolutely," said the king. "Written in stone, like all the laws of the Medes and Persians."
13 Then they said, "Daniel, one of the Jewish exiles, ignores you, O king, and defies your decree. Three times a day he prays."
14 At this, the king was very upset and tried his best to get Daniel out of the fix he'd put him in. He worked at it the whole day long.
15 But then the conspirators were back: "Remember, O king, it's the law of the Medes and Persians that the king's decree can never be changed."
19 -20 At daybreak the king got up and hurried to the lions' den. As he approached the den, he called out anxiously, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve so loyally, saved you from the lions?"
21 -22 "O king, live forever!" said Daniel. "My God sent his angel, who closed the mouths of the lions so that they would not hurt me. I've been found innocent before God and also before you, O king. I've done nothing to harm you."
Oh to have a heart like Daniel. A heart that quickly obeys without question or concern.
So here's yet another question: Would American Christian be upset if our government took away our freedom of religion and open prayer? Or is it even something we deem worthy of standing for?
Its easy to say we'd stand for our right to pray, but I would venture to guess that most of our stand would be based on our feeling of political infringement. Research shows that 4 out of 5 adults claim to have prayed ONCE in the past week. Alarming statistics that should make us all tremble. That statistic alone shoes an attitude of lukewarmness, and not a desire to be with Christ or the very least, a desire to connect with our Savior. We lack a desire to be like Daniel.
I leave you with the deepest question of them all - How's your prayer life?