Do You Truly “Value” Prayer?

“Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow or reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” –  Matthew 6:26

On the surface, even thinking about the offer would seem ludicrous to most.

You drive a 1998 Toyota Camry dating back to your college days. The car has taken you everywhere, in times lean and flush. You love this car. Its odometer reads 250,000 … and counting.

A car collector with, shall we say, a thing for Camrys offers you a deal: a brand-new Mercedes-Benz for your quarter century-old Toyota. Straight up. No strings attached.

Most drivers wouldn’t think twice. They wouldn’t jump – they’d leap at the offer.

Except, you don’t. It’s not so straightforward. You’ve heard Mercedes-Benz vehicles are expensive to maintain and repair. Your ancient Camry, not so much.

Moreover, you have a real, sentimental attachment to the old Toyota. It’s been there for you. It’s defined “reliable.” This new, Johnny-come-lately European hotshot – who knows when it might get finicky?

Everyone thinks you’re nuts. Well, maybe you are. Or, perhaps your values system is just different. Maybe the emotional attachment to the old car has no price tag … because it can’t. It’s what you believe and hold true – and nothing will change it.

The Uniqueness, and Strength, of Values

“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank.” –  Daniel 1:8

Everyone holds different values. Our core values are those in which we will always persist – even if doing so costs us substantially, or results in punishment.

This diversity makes for a fascinating world. It can get messy, too, when those with strong, conflicting values butt heads.

Consider Daniel who, in the Old Testament, was taken away to a foreign nation while young. He was pressured to change. He refused, and trusted God to safeguard him from the potential deadly wrath of King Nebuchadnessar.

Daniel later gained great prominence in the kingdom by revealing and interpreting the ruler’s dream. Other acts followed, each boosting his stock in the eyes of the powerful.

In chapter 6 of the book named after him, Daniel has aged. His detractors have repeatedly sought to undermine him. Yet Daniel is trustworthy and uncorrupted.

Still, they persist. The “high officials and the satraps” convince King Darius to decree that anyone who proclaims allegiance to anyone besides him, the almighty ruler, will be cast into a den of lions.

Undeterred, Daniel continues to pray to God three times daily, as he has long done. Those opposing him report this grievous violation to the king. Unhappily, he orders Daniel into the lions’ den, and that a stone be rolled over its entrance.

We all know the result. The next day, King Darius finds Daniel unharmed. God had shut the lions’ mouths. The king, overjoyed, sends Daniel’s accusers to the lions’ den … where they meet a notably different fate. A royal decree follows, praising God and saying His kingdom is inviolate.

The Value of Prayer Needs No Explanation

“Oh my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.” Daniel 9:18

Daniel valued prayer. He risked death, rather than be cut off from God.

Communion with God is a core value. Christians crave and need it. We create this communion through prayer, giving thanks for our blessings and beseeching our needs.

Similarly, we Christians should hold prayer as a core value. It should be held deep within us, unsusceptible to logic or persuasion. These types of values act at a non-cognitive level. We don’t have to think about whether or not to pray – we know the answer.

We want presence with God. Prayer offers a pathway. Only by grasping prayer as a non-negotiable, no-arguments value can we clear away the obstructions, and follow an unblocked route to His grace.

How, or what, we “drive” to get there is irrelevant. Understanding the value is all that matters. God has made us an amazingly generous, no-end-date offer. We’ll make our decision – and we don’t have to explain it to anyone.

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C-Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Join us as a member. Plant a chapter where you live. Consider becoming a corporate partner. Follow C-Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or

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