Wednesday 3rd February 2021

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So last week we read from the Old Testament book of Daniel about a change of leadership. The Babylonians were invaded by the Medes and Persians and King Darius now rules the empire. Daniel is an old man, but this new king brings him out of retirement, and is impressed with his administrative skills. Daniel becoming a favourite of king Darius which did not please everyone. Read Daniel Chapter 6

When we first met Daniel in chapter one, he was a young teenager determined not to compromise his faith in the Living God who endures for ever. Now, in his old age his resolve remains the same, he continues to remain faithful to God throughout testing times.

Some of you may have learnt this little rhyme in Sunday school, it gives us a summary of chapter 6:

Daniel was a man of prayer, daily praying three times,

Till one day they cast him down in the den of lions.

Even then in the den, fear could not alarm him,

God had shut the lions' mouths, so they could not harm him

Anon Copyright 1947

The only accusation which could be made against Daniel was that he would not stop worshipping God. Daniel recognises that his strength and wisdom come from keeping in daily contact with the living God, praying to him about his own hopes and dreams as well as his worries and fears. Daniel also expects to see God respond to what he prays.

We can see in this life-threatening scenario the same attitude in Daniel which we saw in his three friends in chapter 3, when they faced death through being thrown into a fiery furnace. They said that whether they lived or died God was still God and was worthy of worship. Daniel knew that God had the power to rescue and save him, but he also knew that he couldn’t second-guess what God would do, only trust that as always God actions would be the right way forward. This is a faith which will never let us down, trusting that whatever God chooses to do (or not do) is the right and perfect way forward – trusting that God knows best!

God’s response to Daniel’s prayers was everything he hoped for and resulted in the King Darius being made aware of the power of the living God who endures for ever, and who rescues and saves.

We discover that the words we have taken as our verse for the year (Daniel 6: 26a-27b) are King Darius’ description of who he had discovered God to be through the witness of Daniel.

For he is the living God and he endures for ever;

His kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end.

He rescues and he saves;

He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.

Daniel 6: 26b-27a (NIVUK)

We aren’t likely to face the same dilemmas Daniel had to deal with, but we do perhaps more often than we realise have to decide what it means to worship God whole-heartedly, and to remain faithful throughout testing times. What will help us in the situations we face, is what help Daniel in the circumstances he found himself in.

What enabled Daniel to remain faithful to God throughout testing times was his commitment to pray to God three times each day. Could you find three points in the day where you could briefly pause and pray? Maybe weekends provide a different rhythm to life, so start by finding three occasions in the usual routine of your week-days, Monday to Friday.

The archbishops of Canterbury and York are asking Christians to join them in a month of daily prayer, they write:

“Starting on 1 February we invite you to set aside time every evening to pray, particularly at 6pm each day. More than ever, this is a time when we need to love each other. Prayer is an expression of love.”

A number of resources are available at www.ChurchofEngland.org/PrayerForTheNation

On Monday evening (1st Feb) the Archbishop of Canterbury posted a 15 minute facebook video as an introduction to this month of prayer.

https://www.facebook.com/archbishopofcanterbury/videos/1106263876505625

Use these lyrics to lead you into a time of prayer:

Over all the earth, You reign on high, Every mountain stream, Every sunset sky.

But my one request, Lord, my only aim Is that You'd reign in me again.

Lord, reign in me, reign in Your power; over all my dreams, in my darkest hour.

You are the Lord of all I am, so won't You reign in me again.

Over every thought, over every word, may my life reflect the beauty of my Lord;

'cause You mean more to me than any earthly thing, So won't You reign in me again.

(Brenton Brown  © 1998 Vineyard Songs)

Sunday Mornings:

At the end of Friday’s ‘Guest Writer’ article I will give you the link to join us on Zoom on Sunday morning. The Zoom room will open 10 minutes before our 10:30am start time, to give you opportunity to say hello to each other.

At 10:30am as I start to lead us in worship, we will also go live on the church’s Facebook page. Once the closing song had ended, we will stop being live on facebook, but give those on zoom the opportunity to say goodbye to each other. So, those on Zoom, unless you interrupt me during the worship will not appear on the Facebook livestream.


Page last updated: 5th February 2021 6:03 AM