Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Daniel 2:17-18 (NIV).
Prayer works. It isn’t just some wishing well; it isn’t a giant claw machine where you put in a quarter and finagle the machine to give you a prize. When you open your heart to God and give Him what you believe, what you think, what’s on your heart and mind, He responds.
Have you read about harvesting the Judean date palms? According to a story in Haaretz.com, in 2005, scientists got a 2000 year old seed, found at Masada, to sprout. Since then, five more seeds have sprouted, and one germinated the original one. Just this year, that plant produced dates: the first harvested from that species of plant since the days of Jesus.
Daniel is a story of supernatural miracles, only the first few of which we’ve seen. Yet here, today, in our world, is a miracle of the preservation of life. If there’s ever a reason to give glory to God, it is the preservation of life. Or the resurrection of it from something that people thought surely must be dead. How amazing is it that God would let seeds, long dry and considered dead, sprout in good soil into trees that would grow and bear fresh fruit – and new seeds – centuries, even millenia, later! Only God could do that. Science alone would have long ago written them off.
A God who could sprout dead seeds into life can do any miracle he likes. He can speak a universe into existence. He can save innocent Jews from execution so that they might live to serve Him in new ways. He can burn up the wet sacrifices of pagan magicians. He can resurrect His only begotten Son so that, through Him, all mankind might live in eternal peace.
That’s the God Daniel prayed to in Babylon. Daniel had full faith and confidence that God would hear his prayer and help as He saw fit. It wasn’t just an amazing turn of events or chance: it was faith in the living God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. It was a miracle: one we, too, can see every day when we pray. In that faith, Daniel submitted to God to save not only himself, but his friends and even the hapless sorcerers of Babylon who actually had deserved that death sentence.
God does the same for us today. If you don’t think He can, go try a Judean date.
For further reading: Ezra 1:2, Nehemiah 1:4, Isaiah 37:4, Jeremiah 33:3, Jonah 1:9, Revelation 11:13, Daniel 2:19
Lord, thank You for life from lifelessness. For prayer, for saving.
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