But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Daniel 6:10 (NLT).
Many years ago I asked an elderly Christian gentleman why he didn’t attend the church prayer meeting. It was an honest question. Here was a man who had more than enough time on his hands, yet he no longer participated in the activities of the church. His response floored me. He said, “Lawson, I’ve made my contribution, now I’m retired.”
Hopefully you’re still praying with God’s people. Prayer should be like breathing, we should keep praying until we take our last breath. There’s never a good reason to stop praying. Even though it’s sometimes hard to pray, we should strive to “pray continually” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV).
Christians don’t retire from being Christian. We should never, for whatever reason, turn our backs on the practices and principles that frame our lives in Christ. Christians must keep on doing the things Christians do. It doesn’t matter how old we are, we should never be content to sit back and simply look on. “As long as you live, keep learning how to live” said the Roman statesman, Seneca.
Consider Daniel’s story. When colleagues conspired against him and planned his downfall (Daniel 6:1ff) he had a good reason to be bitter. He could have said, “Look where all my praying has got me … I’ve prayed three times a day giving thanks to God, and now I’m being thrown to the lions!” But Daniel refused to be cynical. He knew the purpose of life is to make it count, to stand for something, to make a difference, to keep on keeping on. So he stood firm in God and continued praying like he’d always done.
Let’s be like Daniel. Let’s make sure we make every moment of every day count for Christ. Let’s do what we know we should do, and keep doing it to the very end.