Only in a special place?

This month, we’re talking about talking with God (commonly known as praying). Today, Rich Dixon keeps us thinking about that.

Three times each day, Daniel prayed in a special place.

He got on his knees in an upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. He continued even when it got him in trouble with the king.

Did Daniel believe prayers from this spot were prayers more powerful? Did he believe God was more present in this room, or that He listened more closely?

We admire Daniel’s courage, his connection with God, the way God protected and used him. It’s tempting to wonder whether Daniel’s prayer room was extra-special.

What if you and I could find that kind of holy venue? Maybe it’s the location (an upstairs room) or perfect posture (on his knees). Should we face toward Jerusalem?

It’s human to seek a shortcut. We all wish for that formula or ritual that will open a direct, Daniel-style portal to God.

Of course, we know there wasn’t anything magical about Daniel’s upstairs room. We know God listens regardless of location, body position, or geographic orientation.

But when we’re desperate for an answer, when we’re discouraged or suffering, when we would do anything to hear God’s voice, we wonder. We wonder if there’s something – anything – that might enhance the connection.

So we look at Daniel’s story and wonder. Maybe if we mimic what he did, if we do it the right way, in the right place or posture, maybe we’ll get the instant results we long for.

And we know it doesn’t work like that. Daniel’s “special place” didn’t create the connection. He went to that room, even at great risk, as one expression of a lifetime of faithfulness and obedience.

Faithfulness and obedience, listening and responding, persisting patiently in exile…those were the “magic shortcuts” of God’s communication with Daniel.

And us.

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Next time, I’ll tell you about another special place.

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  1. Pingback: Finding a place of peace – 300 words a day

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