So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
— Daniel 9:3 —
I didn’t know what to expect, but I was excited about my first visit to a Ukrainian Baptist church service. Shortly after finding a place to sit, in a completely packed church, everyone stood up, and the pastor started to pray. I asked a friend why everyone was standing. He explained that when he was in the military, every soldier would stand out of respect when an officer walked into the room. Daniel knows whom he seeks. His God is the sovereign Lord over all, with the power to direct the affairs of the world. He did not, therefore, take prayer lightly. How much more, he asked me, should we stand in respect when we come into God’s presence through prayer? Prayer was a serious matter. In this verse, we see that prayer was a serious matter to Daniel, as well. He states, “I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him.” He is determined to seek, to be fully engaged, focused, and consumed in his prayers. We see this earnestness at the end of the verse, as well. His fasting shows deep concern, whereas the sackcloth and ashes express his humility. Daniel knows whom he seeks. His God is the sovereign Lord over all, with the power to direct the affairs of the world. He did not, therefore, take prayer lightly. This should lead us to consider our own prayer life. Do you begin your prayers with a solemn acknowledgment that your Father is in heaven, ruling the universe with unlimited power at His disposal? Are you willing to take your prayer life seriously, to make it an uncompromising action of faith? May we keep the name of our God hallowed in our hearts as we approach Him in our prayers.