Do you know why Daniel prayed with his window opened toward Jerusalem in Daniel 6:10? Sure, we say it is because he was praying towards God which lived in the temple. But let me remind you that their temple was destroyed and not rebuilt until after the Israelites return to Jerusalem. So again, why did Daniel open his window and pray towards Jerusalem?
We read in 1 Kings 8:27 that the heavens cannot contain God so how could the temple of God? Daniel did not pray towards Jerusalem to direct his prayer towards God, because Jerusalem could not contain God. If we continue reading in 1 Kings 8 we will find in verse 36 that God hears prayers in heaven. We can find our answer in the parallel passage of 2 Chronicles 6:36-39. When the Israelites sinned against God, God would allow Judgment to fall upon Israel and allow their enemies to capture them and place them in bondage. Daniel was in Babylon because Israel sinned against God. Daniel had a confessed heart and prayed toward the promise that is found here in 2 Chronicles 6:38, 39. He prayed that God would forgive his people and restore them to their land. Daniel prayed toward Jerusalem because he was looking for an answer of forgiveness and restoration. Daniel prayed with a confessed heart looking to a promise of a restored homeland. We need to remember that Daniel did not pray in rebellion to the decree but only as he was accustomed to praying. Christians today use God as a fire extinguisher or spare tire and only run to God when they have problems in their life. Daniel prayed thrice daily as he had done before. Daniel had a true relationship with God. We find a pattern for the people of Israel that they repeated several times:
- Judgment and Bondage
- Restoration and Rest
God cannot tolerate sin and must show justice, because God is a God not only of love, but also of justice. This is what we forget in our day. God does promise to forgive us, but He can only listen to the prayer of repentance from a sinner. Until we confess, all of our other prayers will not go any higher than the roof. Looking at this from another perspective we will find many hindrances to our prayer.
First of all sin, sin is what keeps us from having a relationship with God. If we have unconfessed sin in our life, we can be sure that God will not hear us.
Sin will keep you from the Book [the Bible] or the Book will keep you from sin!
Secondly we find Faith. Before you can ask your heavenly Father anything you must first become his child. It takes childlike faith to trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Eternal life and a relationship with God is the gift that God wants to give you. This gift can only be found through the price paid by Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. In order for our prayers to be heard we must receive salvation offered to us by God.
Thirdly, we see that we must pray believing. We can pray for something as much as we want to, but until we pray to God believing He will answer, God will not answer our prayers. We must put action to our prayers and not just words. We need to pray and then expect God to answer that prayer. Many times our prayers are not answered because we are not expecting them to be.
Pray like it all depends upon God and then work like it all depends upon you.
Fourthly, we need to pray with faithfulness. We need to be faithful to God, not only in prayer but also in service and assembling of ourselves. Yes, I am talking about attending church services. How do we expect God to answer our prayers when we will not even go to His house to hear from him? Hebrews 10:25 says we need to do more so as we see the day approaching. The day referred to is the day when Christ will return. If you do not see this drawing near then you are not living in the present time. We need to prayer with faithfulness towards God.
How can you expect God to answer your prayers when you won’t obey Him?
Lastly we need to pray with obedience. How many parents will grant their children wishes when they outright disobey them. Why then, do we expect God to be any different. God wants us to obey Him. In Revelation 3 we find Jesus addressing the church of the Laodiceans and states that they were saying that they were in need of nothing when in fact, they did not even know that they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. We need to wake up and realize that we are not obeying God.
We have not, not only because we ask not, but because that when we ask we ask amiss. We need to make sure that we do not hold onto hindrances of our prayers. What are your praying for and what might there be that is hindering that prayer?