Called to be Free in a Secular Culture – Daniel 9:21

Vol. 2, No. 28 – 7-9-2017

While I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me on my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. Daniel 9:21; 5:13

From the early days of Jewish life, their day began at 6:00 am, concluding at 6:00 pm. There were certain times of the day that generated the discipline of the godly; of course, the secular ignored those events. At 3:00 pm the devout followers of God had a special time of prayer, one of three such hours of the day.

Daniel, at this time in history, was a captive in a secular; however, his life did not change in relation to the presence of God in his life. In our present day, many who claim to follow Almighty God, cannot even attend church regularly on Sunday. Sad. Daniel pursued God through each day, not neglecting the three hours; indeed, he had his heart set on God through throughout the day.

The 3:00 pm hour was designated the evening oblation. While God welcomes prayer at any time of the day, the devout Jewish people counted the three hours that were set aside as precious.

Daniel, a leader among his people, was exiled several hundreds of miles from the Holy City of Jerusalem. In fact, the sacrificial system at the Temple ended over eighty years earlier. Yet Daniel was dedicated as a follower of God; thus, he ceased not to pray, remaining a leader even though distanced from the Temple.

We know that godliness is not measured by the clock, nor being in a particular location, or certainly not in the separation from the busyness of life. Yet, we can readily admit that we as a people and as a nation need the same kind of touch Daniel received at his time of prayer. It is not a difficult thing for us to focus upon Almighty God as we live out our lives in a secular society, a secular nation.

Billy Sunday, the great baseball player, turned to being an evangelist. He thought about prayer’s importance, and expressed, “We need men who are shot through with a love for the Savior. We need men filled with the power of the Holy Spirit; loaded with a deep and heavy sense of man’s appalling need. That will bring Gabriel down from heaven in a hurry! We need hurricane prayer in strong, prevailing, believing, God-moving, hell-defeating, devil-routing, sinner-saving, believer-sanctifying, Christ-exalting, worker-producing by God’s [people].

These kind of believers do not miss their times with God. How about you?

Three to four in the afternoon everything stopped for the Jewish believers. It was time to meet with God. At 3:00 pm Christ bowed His head in death, the perfect sacrifice in our behalf. He had asked his followers if they could but spend one hour with him in prayer, but they slept. It is what some of our “committed believers” do on Sunday morning—but they do that during the week as well.

Can we just set a time to meet with God? Can we establish our priorities? Even some of our churches have dismissed the weekly corporate prayer times? Their priorities have changed to not include the body of the church to come together in prayer. They are sleeping while sitting up! When things go “bonkers” in their lives, they cry out in emergency prayers for help. They want a quick answer from the Lord; they present their grocery lists of demands. They no longer know how to bow together, because the weekly prayer meeting is caput. They do not pray independently because there has been no one alongside them praying with them to teach them how to bend their knees before the Lord. Even the disciples knew enough to ask Jesus how they should pray.

Leaders in our churches have dismissed fundamentals of the faith. When fundamentals of the faith are dismissed, the church attempts to replace the time with programmed entertainment or elective teaching times that even break into the secular realm. A leading pastor of a mega church recently even dismissed the Bible as the source of truth, bending to the philosophy of the secular.

It is OK to spend time in prayer in the morning hour, the midday hour, and the evening hour. You may not be willing to sacrifice your time in the midst of your busyness; however, once you commit and begin, it will be difficult to throw aside the time that brings dramatic change to your life, and change to those around you who live in the secular society.

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

July 9, 2017

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