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Ravi Zacharias Excerpt- Answered Prayer Series

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Our book excerpt today is not in the usual “Answered Prayers” format. But this lesson taken
from Ravi Zacharias’s book, The Logic of God, teaches us about the correlation between
obedience, faith and prayer. We know that Daniel was a man of great prayer, and as you will see,
his life is a testimony of what prayer can accomplish.

“Think of the prophet Daniel’s three friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego facing King
Nebuchadnezzar’s very real threat to toss them into a fiery furnace if they did not bend to his
authority. He was not a charitable man, but they refused to disavow their commitment to God,
boldly declaring: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver
us from it…But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve
your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” God honored their faith and, in His
mercy, delivered them even after they were thrown into the fire. They, in turn, experienced the
triumph of faith when they stood their ground.

Being aligned with God’s will is no light matter. Nebuchadnezzar had plundered Jerusalem
and its temple and took the Jewish people into captivity. He ordered Shadrach, Meshach,
Abednego, and Daniel to be instructed in the Babylonian language and philosophy for three
years, preparing them to serve in the kingdom. Although, Daniel and his friends were subjected
to a foreign culture, they held to three principles that allowed them to stand against the powerful
forces of their day: they drew a line of resistance, a line of dependence, and a line of confidence
in God.

They resisted the temptation to accommodate themselves to the pagan culture of Babylon.
They depended upon God and knew where knowledge and education ended, and where trust and
wisdom began. And they had confidence that God alone was Judge—even as Daniel’s own name
indicates. (Daniel means ‘God is my Judge.’)
What happened as a result of their obedience to God? Three pagan kings crossed over from
their sides to God’s side. Three pagan kings prayed to the God of heaven by the time the book of
Daniel ended. The kings steeped the young men in Babylonian philosophy and tried to change
their names and worldview. But God’s faithful servants ended up changing the kings’ allegiances
and identities.

Can it still happen? Yes, it can. Certainly it is sometimes easier to resist God’s will than to
have faith and confidence in Him and in His specific purpose for each one of us. But from the
halls of Washington to the boardrooms of Singapore, God is still at work among His people-
especially through those who pray.

Prayer teaches us faith—and prayer is hard work.

It is not a guarantee of getting what we want or substitute for action. Rather, it undergirds our action with the strength that makes the
difference. Faith is that sublime dependence upon God that even though we may not get what we
want, we know and love the One who denies us for His good reason and for our lives in our
needs and our dependencies, in our successes and accomplishments. The most significant
relationships in life are based on this kind of faith. Such faith faces the defeat of desire with the
victory of certainty in the One who is in control.”

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REFLECTION FOR NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
I Will Not Let You Go — Prayers of Note

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