“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,”
This week is my first week starting a summer internship at the church I’m at. Leading up to that first day of the internship I was beginning to be fearful, some doubts and worry crept into my mind. It’s not that this opportunity is bad by any means, it actually couldn’t have worked out any better to get to learn from so many like-minded, faithful people. Why did I have all that negative creeping up? Mainly, because it’s a new situation with a lot of new faces and I’ll be be doing new things that I’ve never done before. New and change can be scary because it makes us get really uncomfortable.
The first morning of the internship I woke up with those butterflies like it was the first day of school. I opened my Bible to these verses from Daniel. I noticed in the context that Daniel was praying out of need for himself and the Lord’s people. Daniel shows throughout this book how important and crucial prayer is for believers, but here I noticed something that gave me not an example to learn from but a description of God that I could surrender myself to and hold onto in these uncomfortable times I faced.
Daniel shows us an example of laying our lives before God in prayer, seeking Him for help, provision, and guidance in our lives. We see from Daniel that praying is the only answer in any situation of life but from Daniel’s description when he called on God, describing God as who He truly is, “great” and “awesome.” Calling out the characteristics of God, how He is always faithful to keep His promises to us, to deliver us and be there for us. How God’s love for us is “steadfast.” Constant, always increasing, and never-failing. That’s how God feels and acts towards His children.
That struck me right there, instead of just going to God like He’s a genie in a bottle that’s going to grant my wishes. Stepping back from all of my needs, complaints, and insecurities long enough to really call on God for who He is, how He feels about us and how He treats us. Seeing God in the truth of who He is, that He is greater than any darkness in this world or uncomfortable situation we will ever face, and how is so faithful and constant in His love for us. My eyes got big and heart was filled with peace as I went into this new situation filled with a lot of uncomfortable change and new things. I felt a confidence that was overflowing despite how I wanted to feel or how I would’ve felt yesterday, I had no reason to put my trust in me or my human ability because of seeing God in His fullness. He made it easy to trust Him and find my confidence in Him and Him alone.
I was given a schedule from the youth pastor I’m interning under and after lunch for 30 minutes, he gave me a scheduled time for prayer. I kept looking at it all morning thinking, “I’ve never prayed for 30 minutes at one time.” And I kept thinking about all the other tasks I had to do but I followed the schedule and took this BIGGER and TRUE view of God into that time of prayer. Stopping from all my to-do’s, stepping back from my worries and fears and stepping into His presence, it changed my heart, my day, and this time with God has changed my life.
I thought before no way I can pray for 30 minutes straight, got off my knees 27 minutes later and time had flown by! I felt renewed, fresh and ready to attack the rest of the day ahead! I don’t write this to recommend that you pray, I write this to remind you as Daniel has done in these verses of the powerful, mighty, awesome and constantly loving God you are speaking to. Just the fact we have access to God blows my mind but just take time in your day to hit your knees, let all the other stuff you’re dealing with take a time out and surrender yourself before this mighty God we serve! Impossible turns to more than possible, fear turns to faith, and doubt turns to hope and confidence! Not because of you but the faithful and loving God you are speaking to! Know who you’re speaking to and He’ll do more than change your day, He’ll change your LIFE!!!!