Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. (Daniel 6:10)
What was the first thing that Daniel did when heard the decree of King Darius ordering the death of any who petitions any god or man other than the king himself? He went home and prayed to God, thus disobeying the king’s decree. The Bible notes that he did this “as was his custom since early days”, indicating that this was not something new for Daniel to do. In fact, these thrice-daily prayers were his usual spiritual cultivation. And these prayers were so important to Daniel that he deemed them worth defying the king for, so important that they were worth dying for.
How important do we consider our own daily spiritual cultivation? When life gets busy and full of unending to-do lists, what is the first thing that we drop? Sadly, for many of us, spiritual cultivation is the first to go. We often think to ourselves that it’s okay to miss one prayer or to skip a few days of Bible reading. We can always catch up later. After all, we will go to church on the Sabbath and read the Bible then; we will go to church on the Sabbath and pray then. We find ourselves relying on the Sabbath alone as our sole source of spiritual cultivation.
How far removed is this kind of attitude from that of Daniel, who deemed his daily prayers worth dying for. Daniel was unwilling to compromise his cultivation even for 30 days because he understood that those prayers were the source of his strength and success. By being faithful to his daily prayers, Daniel demonstrated his faithfulness to God. In choosing to pray to God despite the king’s decree, Daniel chose God over his own life.
Sometimes, we need to look at our daily worship of God with this sort of extremity. Have we ever thought that each time we choose to forgo our own spiritual cultivation, we are forgoing God and choosing ourselves above God? We are often the opposite of Daniel, worshippers of our own convenience rather than worshippers of God. Let us instead learn from the example of Daniel and choose to put worshipping God first in our daily lives. Let us choose to set our prayer and Bible reading time as a priority in our day – perhaps even the first thing that we do before we face the day. And if we can be faithful to this, surely our God will respond in kind. God is faithful and often returns to us far more than we ever gave to Him. Let us strive to be faithful worshippers, worshippers who are willing to die before they stop worshipping God.
- What is preventing me from being faithful to my daily spiritual cultivation?
- How can I set spiritual cultivation as a priority in my day?
- What do I need to change to make worship a daily event in my family’s life?