3 Easter, Year One
[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 105:1-22 (morning) // 105:23-45 (evening)
2 John 1-13
In today’s first reading, we witness the power of habitual, thrice-daily prayer in the life of Daniel. Daniel serves as an administrative official whose star is rising. His colleagues are jealous, but they can’t find any way to tank his career, since Daniel is faithful in his work and completely incorruptible. The jealous colleagues must take another tack.
They conspire to convince King Darius to sign an edict prohibiting prayer directed at anyone but the king for a thirty-day period. Thus, the trap was set for Daniel, who was known to pray three times a day, not to King Darius, but to God.
Daniel’s faith is not simply habitual, but truly persevering. As the Scripture tells us, Daniel knew that his accustomed prayer was suddenly forbidden, and yet “he continued . . . to get down on his knees three times a day to pray to his God and praise him, just as he had done previously.”
Throughout his life, Daniel’s fortunes, circumstances, opportunities, political contexts, and more, change drastically. But his habit of praying three times a day? That never changes. Our own prayer lives may not conform to the same pattern as Daniel’s, but his life shows us the value of having habits of prayer so that we can pray whenever we need to most.
Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.