Prayer Dispels Confusion

“Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.” — Daniel 2:19

We are living in a world full of chaos and confusion. We are confused about global warming, race relations, Ebola, ISIS, Syria, Somalia, our ailing medical and education systems—the list keeps going.

To be honest, it is really quite ironic that there is so much confusion. If you think about it, never has there been so much in place to combat confusion. We have so much information in cyberspace, so many answers at our fingertips, so much interconnectivity among people and nations . . . and yet, confusion abounds.

The interesting thing about confusion is that it breeds intimidation. By nature, confused people feel powerless. They feel impotent, unable to deal with their confusion.

Turning to the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar is going through his own confusion, and his own intimidation. Dreams—horrific dreams— are assaulting Nebuchadnezzar every night as soon as his head hits the pillow, reducing the sovereign to a state of panic.

To put it in a word, the king is confused.

He doesn’t know what the nightmares mean and he doesn’t keep his confusion to himself. He wants his attendants to feel his confusion and he puts the best of them on notice. He informs the best-trained minds of his kingdom that unless they can dispel his confusion, their lives are in peril.

Confusion in the mind of the king led to intimidation in his heart. He then shares both the confusion and intimidation with everyone around him.  Confusion and intimidation never stays with the host subject. It spreads outwardly, like an infectious disease, contaminating many people. And so all of the wise men of Babylon were confused, intimidated, and very afraid.

As one of those wise men, Daniel was facing execution if he couldn’t interpret the King’s dream. But unlike those wise men, Daniel was a follower of the God of Israel. He was weak, but he knew God was strong, God’s power was revealed through his weakness. So what did Daniel do next?  There’s really only one thing to do in this situation, but it’s the one thing we hardly ever do—pray.

When you feel confused in yourself, when you feel intimidated in yourself, you need to go above yourself. You need to go to the God of heaven and seek mercy.

Why mercy? Well, why should the God of heaven help you? Is there anything you can do to earn his help?

Of course not! He’s the God of heaven. You can’t give him anything that he doesn’t already have. You can’t pay him for his services. It’s an absurd thought!

However, when you’re confused and intimidated, he’s your only option. It ought to be so obvious to us. We have spent trillions of dollars and trillions of human hours trying to dispel confusion and defuse intimidations and what do we have to show for it? Only more confusion and more intimidation than at any other time of human history!

We’ve got to go above ourselves for help and pray, yes, literally, pray that God will be merciful and help us.

Bill Gates says prayer is the most inefficient use of human time because when you’re praying, you’re not doing something or engaged in fruitful activity.

Do you believe him?

I think we do believe him, because most of us are too busy doing things to pray. In reality, we should be too busy not to pray.

What happened to Daniel (v. 19) when he decided to pray?

Daniel got help! God delivered to him a vision in the night that dispelled the confusion and defused the intimidation of King Nebuchadnezzar.

There is no more efficient use of our time than going above ourselves. We have to take the twin maladies that beset us all—confusion and intimidation—to a merciful God, a God of wisdom and might.

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