It seems that life is composed of a great many hills and valleys. One day you seem to be on top of the world and the next you are lost in a valley, your vision obscured by the hills. One day you seem to understand plainly and the next your thoughts are all muddled. One day you are overwhelmed by the presence of the Lord and the next he seems to be nowhere in sight. From all of our experience and from the Holy Scriptures we should have a clear understanding that our spiritual walk is a daily experience. We build upon yesterday's experience but today is unique all on its own.
You cannot rest on yesterday's victories. It is great that yesterday was a day of mercy and grace, and that you overcame many difficulties in the day. It is great that you faced testing and passed. It is great that yesterday was one to go down in your personal history books. But what about today? What about the challenges you face today? What about the battles, the testing, the intercessions of today? Have you allowed yesterday's victories to lower your guard? Have you considered yesterday's triumphs an excuse to rest a bit?
We make the mistake of picturing the spiritual like the physical. After every great physical battle there is always a reprieve, a time of rest. However, the spiritual battles take place on our knees and the enemy's tactic is to prevent us from ever getting there. Each day is almost a physical and mental battle just to drop to our knees, to engage in prayer. Everything is set against us to prevent it. But we must see it as a daily duty as warriors in the battle for souls in this darkening world; also to find new energy and strength for the day.
Every day we have to set our heart to seeking Yahweh's face. Every day we need to desire after his will. Every day we must long for that sweet fellowship with Jesus through the Spirit. It should be the first thing on our mind when we awake and the last thing as we fall asleep. I like to consider Daniel in this matter. He was a giant of a warrior when it came to this fight. His understanding was limited compared to ours as we live on this side of the cross and yet the man held true to the knowledge he had.
Despite what the enemy contrived to stop him from praying, Daniel persisted. It even cost him the experience of the lion's den, but Daniel would not back down. Because of his forced habit of prayer, much was given to Daniel, much was revealed and he had an incredible relationship with Yahweh. It was because of his fasting, prayer and fervent desire to be as close to Yahweh as possible that Daniel was used by Yahweh and he was also given great vision and understanding. On one occasion the angel addressed him like this:
O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you. (Daniel 10:11)
Who of us would not desire to be addressed by Jesus as "greatly beloved"? And consider the results of Daniels life of prayer and devotion to the will of Yahweh:
Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. (v.12)
This wasn't because Daniel prayed on occasion or was a "good" man. This was because Daniel made it his life purpose to understand Yahweh, to humble himself before Yahweh and because he prayed. This was not an occasional thing but a daily habit. Daniel was thrown to the lions because he refused to change his discipline of praying in his room three times a day. He refused to back down from what he started: seeking the face of his God.
Daniel did not know Jesus. He did not experience the knowledge of the cross, the empty grave or the Holy Spirit. He did not know what we know now and yet he knew enough to desire with all his heart to seek the face of Yahweh. We are without excuse. We are lazy and our love is not genuine. If it was genuine then all our energy would go into doing what Jesus instructed us to do and following the example that he set. If Jesus found it necessary to get up early in the morning and stay up late at night to talk with his Father, should that not tell us something. Yet here we are trying to live a godly life with no power because we do not pray.
Yes, we say our quick little prayers throughout the day, which is important, but it is not the relationship developing, battle fighting prayers of our closets. The fact you spent an hour in prayer yesterday is fantastic according to yesterday's relationship and battles. But what about today? What about the people who need your intercession today? What about the instruction the Spirit wants to give you today? What about seeking Yahweh's face today?
We are without excuse. We know our place and the importance of the relationship. We know all the scripture that teach the importance of prayer. We know relationship develops in prayer. We know revival happens in prayer. We know that situations and hearts change because of prayer. We know that daily instruction is given in prayer. We know it is a daily walk. We know all this, so why are we so lazy, distracted and disobedient?