There are times we pray to be delivered. The trial may be emotional, physical or spiritual. The trial may be happening to someone we love rather than ourselves. Are we as true to our faith as the three young men taken from their homes? The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, those long ago servants of the most high God, according to the third chapter of Daniel, is known in churches from pre-k up. They chose to continue serving God in spite of the promise of death if they did not bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s idols.
Did you notice, though, that they did not require a promise of deliverance? They thought He might.
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. [Daniel 3:17 KJV]
This is what we look for when we’re praying to be delivered. Our God is able to deliver us, whether it be the fiery furnace, a physical need, an emotional need or a spiritual need. We know that He is able. We also know we don’t think as God does. He told us so.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. [Isaiah 55:8 KJV]
Those three faithful men knew this, so they added some information for the king’s education.
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. [Daniel 3:18 KJV]
If, for some reason known only to Him, God’s will did not include their deliverance from the king’s punishment, they would not worship any other. Is our faith in God strong enough to accept “No” for an answer? Or do we begin seeking a way around His will. For that matter, how do we know what God does have in mind? Do we speak with Him daily, as David did?
I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. [Psalms 57:2 KJV]
That’s the second verse, where David is giving God credit for all things. He acknowledges God’s hand in everything. Of course, that follows the first verse, crying out for help.
Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. [Psalms 57:1 KJV]
David certainly had calamities in his life, didn’t he? Some were of his own making, others beset him through friends and family. None cost him his belief in a God capable of mercy. God who performed all things.
David acknowledged his needs.
Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. [Psalms 86:1 KJV]
In this same prayer, he acknowledged God’s abilities.
For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. [Psalms 86:10 KJV]
When we know this, when we believe this truly, we can also pray:
I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. [Psalms 86:12 KJV]
Franz Joseph Hermann (1739-1806): "The Fiery Furnace; from the Book of Daniel, 3" (Wiki Commons)