Daniel 2:14-23 / Pray as if Your Life Depended on it (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on August 26, 2012

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This is the fourth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Daniel. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of August 26, 2012.. This message deals with the importance of prayer and praise. This contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

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Dan 2_14-23 1

Study Outline:

Daniel 2_14-23 outline

SERMON NOTES:

Daniel 2:14-23/Pray as if Your Life Depended on it:

I. THE REQUEST (vv.14-16)
v.14:
Counsel = to be able to handle oneself with reason. It would constitute being well thought out, and rational.

Now Daniel had just learned that the king had commanded him to be killed, but Daniel remained calm. His fear was in God, not men.

Daniel was able to talk to Arioch in a convincing manner, and he was wise in his approach.

What is wisdom?

It begins with a fear of God:

Job 28:28

Psalm 111:10

Proverbs 9:10

It is quite obvious that Daniel feared God much more than men.

Wisdom can only come from God:

Job 28:12-23

We need to ask God for wisdom:

James 1:5

v.15:
Daniel didn’t know what was going on. He had not been invited to the King’s little dream interpretation party.

Therefore, Daniel needed to know what was happening, so that he would know how to respond.

v.16:
Daniel made a bold move, one of pure faith. He went to the man who had ordered his execution.

Either the king had had enough time to cool down, or he simply respected Daniel more than the others.

In either case, he took the time to listen. In response, he granted Daniel some more time.

God cares for his people, and He intervened so that His purposes could be accomplished, and His people blessed. Time was extended.

The thing is, if Daniel had never stepped out on faith, and made the bold decision to ask, this never would have happened.

Some times we need to step up, speak up, and ask for what we want.

II. THE REVELATION (vv. 17-19)
v.17:
It’s very important that Daniel didn’t try to handle the situation on his own.

Daniel went to his three friends and enlisted their help in prayer.
Such should be our response to trials. Allow others to pray with you and for you.

All to often though, we tend to be loners, and to keep our problems to ourselves.

We need to remember that we were made for fellowship, not to be alone (“Its not good for man to be alone”).

v.18:
Prayer is more effective when you get others to pray with you.

The goal of the prayer was to seek God’s mercy through the revelation of the dream, so that they wouldn’t be killed.

Notice that they had a specific request, not a generic prayer. This is very often the case in Scripture, yet we tend not to be very specific, and then wonder why our prayers are ineffective.

v.19:
This was a serious matter, and apparently the prayer continued for quite some time, into the night.

This was not a dream, as some people propose. This was a conscious vision. That’s important, because visions carry much more prophetic weight than dreams.

God spoke to Nebuchadnezzar in a dream, and He spoke to His prophet in a vision.

At this point, the importance of prayer cannot be overstated.

Without prayer, Daniel and his friends would have been killed.

First, we need to remember that we have no right to prayer, we aren’t good enough to approach the Almighty God.

Yet we can go boldly to the throne (Hebrews 4:16) and be humbled in His presence.

We can be bold by not being ashamed to make our request known, but we must always be humble, especially in the presence of God.

Notice the different attitudes, and the different response from God.

Luke 18:11-14

We should never forget that prayer is a gift of grace from God, because He desires fellowship with His children.

In fact, the Bible assumes that we will pray.

Matthew 6:5

And why shouldn’t we take advantage of such a great privilege?

God wants us to call on Him.

Psalm 50:15

We should pray as a group whenever possible.

Matthew 18:19-20

In speaking of a prayer for wisdom, James makes a point that is valid for all prayer. We must ask in faith.

James 1:6-7

Lastly, we need to ask in His name.

John 14:13-14

That doesn’t mean that if we add the magic words “In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen” that the prayer will be automatically answered.

Those words are helpful in public prayer, because everyone will know that you are done, but they are not a magic ingredient.

This goes right along with asking in faith. If a born-again child of God makes a sincere request in faith, then as a child of God, you have taken the name of Christ.

Likewise, if you ask for something unbiblical, you can’t be praying in the name of Christ Jesus, because He would never ask an unbiblical thing.

Also:
It may be true that God will sometimes intervene without our asking. . . or even knowing, but whenever its possible for us to do so, He requires us to ask for His intervention.

Look at the many examples of Jesus’ healings. Not one of them was done until someone asked. This is the case throughout Scripture.

He simply wants us to learn to communicate with Him, and to trust Him. He doesn’t force Himself.

We need more time in prayer, as a church and as individuals.

Prayer needs to be foundational to everything we do.

Every service, every program, every class, every attempt at outreach and evangelism needs to be bathed in prayer.

Without prayer, it won’t matter how well staffed, how well organized, or how well funded it is. Without prayer it is guaranteed to be ineffective.

Prayer will often lead to tears, and as we are about to see, prayer will lead to praise.

III. THE REJOICING (vv. 20-23)
v.20:
Of course Daniel was thankful, He knew that his life had just been spared. He didn’t waste anytime in thanking God.

Too often, we get our answer, and then we don’t have time to properly thank God. But, when you look at Daniel’s response, he thanked God in a very personal way.

He acknowledged the wisdom of God, and His mighty providence.

“forever and ever” is a tribute to the eternal nature of God.

v.21:
That God can control the seasons, is a tribute to His omnipotence.

That God removes and raises kings, may be a tribute to the specific revelation that Daniel had just received.

That God gives wisdom and knowledge, is a tribute to His omniscience.

v.22:
That God reveals secrets and knows what is in the darkness is another tribute to His omniscience.

“light dwells with Him” is a tribute to God’s goodness and holiness.

v.23:
Thanksgiving a praise should become part of your prayer time, if it is not already.

Daniel ended by thanking God specifically for the revelation of the king’s dream.

How much time do you spend in prayer?

Do you want to truly realize the power of God?

Do you want to see a change in your life?

Then make the decision today that you will spend more time in prayer.

Pray as if your life depended on it!

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