Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
During the Revolutionary War, a soldier who had crawled into the brush was caught and accused of communicating with the enemy. His plea was that he had only gone in there to pray. The gruff commanding officer said, “Soldier, are you in the habit of spending hours in private prayer?” “Yes, sir,” the private replied. “Then get down on your knees and pray now!” thundered the officer. Expecting soon to meet his Savior, the soldier prayed a simple yet inspired prayer. When he finished, however, the officer said, “You may go. I believe your story. If you had not been often at drill, you couldn’t have done so well at review!”
Daniel was facing a similar crisis. His enemies had convinced King Darius to sign a decree making it a crime to pray to anyone but him for a period of 30 days. But Daniel also was no beginner at prayer. Long before he found himself in this major predicament, he had been in the habit of praying three times a day with his windows open toward Jerusalem. When this decree put his life in danger, it was only natural he would turn to prayer. Prayer got him into trouble, but prayer also would get him out.
For many people, prayer is something to do only during a critical situation. If you’re in trouble, you pray; otherwise you leave God alone. But this is foolish. Only the person who has developed an aptitude for prayer during the mundane times of life is able to pray effectively in a crisis. It takes a lot of practice to perform well under pressure, even in prayer.
Don’t wait until trouble comes before you pray. Make it a daily habit. Let your voice be so familiar to God that He won’t have to ask, “Who’s there?”
Prayer is for every day, not just for special occasions.