Praying Through vs. Praying For

01 December 2020

Throughout the book of Daniel, we’ve seen over and over situations, visions, and challenges, that have caused much consternation and concern for Daniel. Every moment and vision seemed to cause a great deal of trouble, and yet, possibly at the core of what Daniel was asking and what we ask when we face trouble is, “Can I really trust God with this?” I love Daniel because his response to the challenges he faced was always consistent and persistent prayer through his circumstances. 

This is the lesson I would point you to today, it’s really easy to pray for things but not always easy to pray through things. As we see in Daniel 10 and throughout the book, Daniel prayed through difficult times for three weeks. Many of us spend years praying through challenging circumstances and struggle with what appears to be silence. As we pray through our lives, it’s a stark reminder that prayer is not a button that is pushed that delivers to us the exact results that we’re looking for, but it is a relationship with God to be pursued. 

It can be so easy to default to pray for things; I do it quite often! But, as we see in the life of Daniel, he prays through his circumstances and challenges and you’ll note that a lot of stuff that he would have preferred not to happen, still happens! He prays after the king’s decree, he still ends up in the lion’s den. He prays and mourns for three weeks about the vision concerning a great war. He feels sick after one of the visions he received, while it’s not stated explicitly, I imagine he prayed through it and got on with what he had to do. Daniel often faces troublesome things, his response is to pray through them. If we’re going to be people that are able to face the challenges life throws at us, we have to be like Daniel and consistently pray through it and trust God in faith. I love what Richard Foster says about praying people, “For those explorers in the frontiers of faith, prayer was no little habit tacked on to the periphery of their lives; it was their lives. It was the most serious work of their most productive years. Prayer—nothing draws us closer to the heart of God.” 

When we come to understand that prayer isn’t the button we push but the most serious work we do, it helps us to understand and draw near to the heart of God as we push through our challenges trusting that God is at work in our midst. It is only then that our desire isn’t our preferred outcome but that His kingdom come, and His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven! 

Seth Redden
High School Pastor