A few months ago, on a Saturday morning, I remember waking up to a long list of things I was going to accomplish that day. It was cold and snowy; a good day to stay home. Something got in the way though. Walking from room to room, putting things in order and cleaning out the clutter people kept coming to my mind. It was at a time when I had been reading about Daniel and Job. Teenage Daniel had been taken from his family where he adopted his faith and his culture where he learned to live according to God’s principles. Daniel was brought into service of a king whose faith was in idols and culture was contaminated without regard for God or his spiritual guidance. Daniel 1:8 shows the moral character of Daniel “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”
Later on in the book of Daniel, even though he was told not to pray to his God, he practiced his faith every day even though there was a strict law against it. Daniel 6:10 “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.” We all know the result of Daniel praying three times a day to his God, the one true God. He was thrown into the lions’ den and lived to tell about it. He found favor with the King, the king came to accept God rather than idols, and the king backed off on the decree that all people must worship him.
Job is a different story. Job was a grown man, wealthy, with status, money, a full house of family and more friends than he could count. But one by one, events stripped from him, all that he had. His once comfortable life was torn apart by death of his sons, loss of all his livestock, his wealth trickled away. Jobs friends urged him to and in Job 2:9 even his wife gave up and thought he was an imbecile. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” I love the strong faith that Job maintained. Look at Job’s response in the next verses. Job 2:10-11 ““You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” Do you think Job had turmoil? Do you think he felt like he could use a lot less chaos in his life?
I’m remembering those stories this morning because they have been rerunning in my head for the past few days. Way back when they were new topics in my quiet time, I felt a very strong urge to go into every room in my house and pour out my heart to the Lord for every person who came to my mind. I’m not even sure why that idea came to me, but this is what I know. When someone comes to my mind, no matter where I happen to be, I take a few moments to pray for that person. That particular Saturday though, I was unfocused, and in turmoil, wandering from room to room, haphazardly accomplishing nothing until I visited every room and talked to God about every detail on my heart, confessed every infraction I’d committed against His will, and prayed for every family member, every friend, and every name I thought of. God has spoken to me about that Saturday and it’s time for a rerun. How about you? Has God been speaking to you and it’s impossible to get it out of your head? If God speaks, we need to listen. One thing that will come out of the act of obeying God, is that absence of chaos. Let’s end with Psalm 42:6-8 from the Message translation “When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, depths to heights, including Mount Mizar. Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me. Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God’s prayer.”
My life is God’s prayer.