You Can Be A Champion!
Integrity Is You!
Are you a person of integrity? You can be! I know you want to be. And with God’s help, you will be! Integrity is about being a whole person, an undivided person. What do I mean by that? Integrity is being the same person when others are looking and when they aren’t looking. Your public persona mimics your private persona. When everything is stripped away, people find no hidden agendas, no pretense, no deception, just consistency, authenticity, sincerity. You display a wholeness, a healthiness, a strength that commands respect from your enemies and is down-right irresistible to your friends.
We are studying an event in the life of a teenager, yes teenage Daniel, who was that kind of person. He truly was a man of integrity! Even though he had been torn from his family, was a POW in a foreign land, he would become a champion, a counselor to kings. But what made him, and can make you, a man or woman of integrity? Let’s get an image of what that person looks like! It starts when you purpose to become, to…
I. Be a person with convictions! (1:8a)
8 But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king.
Daniel, a Jew, has been asked to eat a diet which included pig and horse meat. Now that wasn’t kosher! And this meat, from the king’s table, would have also been offered up to what Jews, and today Christians, believe to be false idols. Further, the diet was a reminder that the king was trying to indoctrinate them and remake them into Babylonians, to ditch their Jewish faith and the worship of the one true God, Yahweh.
Daniel couldn’t, he wouldn’t do that! He stood by his moral principles. Now don’t think that was easy for a teenager to do. His refusal, at the very least, meant a lost opportunity to get ahead. Was he not among the best and the brightest? Had he not been made part of a three-year training program that would mean the surety of an administrative position at the end? Why not fudge a little on the diet, do what everybody else was doing? It couldn’t harm, could it? And everyone knew it was downright dangerous to make this king unhappy. It could mean forfeiting his life! This was a major decision.
Being a champion means being principled. Martin Luther King often told his children, “If a man has nothing worth dying for, then he is not fit to live.” Maybe a little harsh, but we get his point. And you cannot be a person of convictions without knowing what you believe and why.
Daniel’s conviction was based on his knowledge of the timeless truth spelled out in the Scriptures. He had memorized by heart at least the first five books of the Law. These truths forged his moral compass. And they came from a loving, all knowing, all powerful God that knew his situation and cared deeply about his situation. He could, he would trust him.
You all remember Eric Liddell, “The Flying Scotsman.” He had worked for years to run the 100-meter dash in the Olympics. When he found out that his race was on Sunday, he refused to run. He was scorned by many, but he held to his guns. Then he received a message that a runner had dropped out of the 400-meter run scheduled on a week day. Even though he had not trained for the race he entered and won setting a world record of 47.6 seconds.
I remember the day when I walked into the boss’s office. I had been promised to not work on Sundays. Yet they had scheduled me and told me that they could not change my schedule. Respectfully I told them of my appreciation for the fine bosses that they were, but I would be looking elsewhere for a job. My convictions, my integrity, would not allow me to continue. Several weeks later they called and said that I would not have to work on Sunday. Be a person of conviction!
II. Be courageous! (1:8b)
A person with strong convictions is a person that soon learns to be bold, to take a stand. Now notice what this teenager does next.
He (Daniel) asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable (defiling) foods.
Daniel is refusing to eat the King’s food. In that culture it is a slap in the face. This could mean death or expulsion from the Royal Academy. Notice Daniel does not make excuses. “Well ever since I’ve been young, I’ve been on a special diet” or “My body just can’t adjust to this new rich food. It gives me a bellyache.” Further Daniel could have used a much softer word than “defile.” He was, in effect, saying, "This food is an abomination to me." Often when we are asked to do something against our convictions we use an excuse or reason other than the real one for not getting involved (My dad won’t let me! We’re busy tonight, etc.). Notice also that Daniel doesn’t yell, verbally attack, throw a tantrum, or engage in name calling. He is respectful. He asks permission. So often we can speak the truth so harshly that we lose our audience right from the start. You can be firm yet be polite. S9 First be a person of conviction, then be bold, and now…
III. Be assured! (1:9)
Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel.
In the face of such boldness, what caused Ashpenaz to have great respect for Daniel? Two things: S11
1. Daniel’s Integrity- Even if people disagree with you they respect decent men and women. The Hebrew words translated “respect” and “affection” suggest loyalty to each other based on mutual commitment. People don’t respect people who run their lives by taking a poll, who are wishy-washy, or go back and forth between convictions. Daniel commanded respect because he was a man who could be trusted - he was the real deal.
2. God’s Protection- Daniel’s boldness caused God to control the mind of his boss. God will be your strength and deliverer in testing. He will either walk beside you through the testing or he will take you out of it. But either way he will be there.
IV. Be Persistent (1:10-11)
10 But he (chief of staff) responded, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has ordered that you eat this food and wine. If you become pale and thin compared to the other youths your age, I am afraid the king will have me beheaded.” 11 Daniel spoke with the attendant who had been appointed by the chief of staff to look after Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
Daniel’s decision has caused a problem for his boss. He is afraid the king will have his head. But when challenged, Daniel doesn’t throw in the towel. He doesn't superficially exhaust a few resources and then give up. He doesn’t say, “Well I gave it my best shot and it just didn’t work out so……” No, Daniel diplomatically pursues an alternative. Remember now, this is a teenager talking. He goes to a guy one step down who would not have to answer directly to the king- a guy just under the chief official. This man would have less personal fear of the King because he was not directly accountable to him. Daniel, having been refused a permanent change in diet, requests instead a brief trial period. This would probably be more palatable to the king and still accomplish his goal without compromise.
A person of integrity refuses to give up at the first encounter of an obstacle, the first bump in the road. Nor do they cop an attitude. Instead, they wisely seek a positive alternative.
V. Choose the highest standard (1:12)
12 “Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said.
Daniel could have drunk the mixed new wine that had not been a part of a pagan sacrifice. (This was a mixture of one-part wine to anywhere from three to twenty parts water). He could have perhaps eaten certain meats. But Daniel goes for total abstinence. He becomes a vegetarian eating only garden vegetables, herbs, and seeds and drinking only water. He chooses the highest standard possible. The West Point Cadet Prayer reads- “Make us choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never be contented with half-truth when whole truth can be won. Endow us with courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when right and truth are in jeopardy.” Yes, a person of integrity refuses to bend the rules! They want what is best not just what is good.
You can be a model of integrity this week. With that in mind, what is one goal that you can set for the coming week that will help deepen and grow your integrity? Here are some possible ones:
1. Choose a part of your community that you can commit to serving as a volunteer once a week or every other week, a food pantry, animal shelter, church outreach, reading to an elementary class, etc. Look and dream!
2. Why not practice giving others the benefit of the doubt before rushing to judgement or negatively filling in the blanks when circumstances are unclear. Perhaps you can practice on a spouse, co-worker, employee, friend, family member, or even a politician😊
3. If you are a boss, make it a habit to highlight your staff’s accomplishments and be silent or downplay your own.
4. How about not using the horn or shouting “blessings” on those who drive aggressively or slowpoke on the road especially if you have a sign reading, “I love Jesus,” on your bumper.
5. Consider speaking kindly, affirmatively and declare a moratorium this week on all name-calling, insulting or abusive behaviors.
6. Get in touch with God in some way. Resolve to talk to him asking your questions, singing your praises, or raising your petitions.
***Ask him to make you into a champion. Then watch, look, listen, obey!
Christ as Means and End
By John Piper
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Why did God create the universe? And why is he governing it the way he is? What is God achieving? Is Jesus Christ a means to this achievement or the end of the achievement?
Jesus Christ is the supreme revelation of God. He is God in human form. As such, he is the end, not a means.
The manifestation of the glory of God is the meaning of the universe. This is what God is achieving. The heavens, and the history of the world, are “telling the glory of God.”
But Jesus Christ was sent to accomplish something that needed doing. He came to remedy the fall. He came to rescue sinners from inevitable destruction because of their sin. These rescued ones will see and savor and display the glory of God with everlasting joy.
Others will continue to heap scorn on the glory of God. So, Jesus Christ is the means to what God meant to achieve in the manifestation of his glory for the enjoyment of his people. No one would see and savor and celebrate the glory of God apart from the saving work of Christ. The aim of the universe would abort. So, Christ is a means.
But in that accomplishment on the cross, as he died for sinners, Christ revealed the love and righteousness of the Father supremely. This was the apex of the revelation of the glory of God — the glory of his grace.
Therefore, in the very moment of his perfect act as the means of God’s purpose, Jesus became the end of that purpose. He became, in his dying in the place of sinners and his resurrection for their life, the central and supreme revelation of the glory of God.
Christ crucified is therefore both the means and the end of God’s purpose in the universe.
Without his work, that end — to reveal the fullness of the glory of God for the enjoyment of God’s people — would not have happened.
And in that very means-work he became the end — the one who forever and ever will be the focus of our worship as we spend eternity seeing and savoring more and more of what he revealed of God when he became a curse for us.
Jesus is the end for which the universe was made, and the means that makes that end possible to enjoy by justified sinners.
You Can Be A Champion!
Daring to be like Daniel
You can be a champion? You can stand tall, when every part of you wants to “lay low?” When those around you cower in a corner, you can resolutely hold to your convictions? When the deck is totally stacked against you, you can beat the odds and come out a winner. You can even be wrenched from your homeland, never to come home again, and yet be front and center on the stage of world history. How do I know? A teenager, yes, a teenager, did it over 2500 years ago. For over seventy years his counsel would be prized and sought after by the rulers of two of the world’s greatest empires. This is his story! And in some way, it can become your story too.
As we begin, fifteen-year-old Daniel finds himself in:
I. A No-Win Situation (Daniel 1:1-8a; The Message)
His country, Judah or modern day Israel, is receiving divine discipline.
1-2 It was the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon declared war on Jerusalem and besieged the city. The Master handed King Jehoiakim of Judah over to him, along with some of the furnishings from the Temple of God. Nebuchadnezzar took king and furnishings to the country of Babylon, the ancient Shinar. He put the furnishings in the sacred treasury. 3-5 The king told Ashpenaz, head of the palace staff, to get some Israelites from the royal family and nobility—young men who were healthy and handsome, intelligent and well-educated, good prospects for leadership positions in the government, perfect specimens!—and indoctrinate them in the Babylonian language and the lore of magic and fortunetelling. The king then ordered that they be served from the same menu as the royal table—the best food, the finest wine. After three years of training they would be given positions in the king’s court. 6-7 Four young men from Judah—Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—were among those selected. The head of the palace staff gave them Babylonian names: Daniel was named Belteshazzar, Hananiah was named Shadrach, Mishael was named Meshach, Azariah was named Abednego. 8 But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food or drinking his wine
1. The axe falls.
God had repeatedly warned the Jewish people to stop their wild and shameless living. He had sent the prophets Jeremiah and Habakkuk to warn them of looming judgement if they would not listen. And he even told them who would invade and capture Judah, Babylon, and how long Judah would be in captivity, seventy years.
But the message had fallen on deaf ears. Unchecked corruption and evil had infiltrated every aspect of Daniel’s society from the home to the marketplace, from the church to the white house. Violence, physical brutality and flaunted moral depravity had become the new norm. Indeed, good and decent people were so outnumbered and overrun by the wicked that the rule of law was paralyzed and justice was nowhere to be found.
Then Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar invaded Daniel’s homeland, Judah. During the invasion, the king received a special delivery message that his dad had died, so he robbed the Jewish temple of some of its sacred vessels. He wanted it to be known that his god was bigger than the Jew’s God. He also took 70 young men from the royal family and upper class as hostages, the crème of the crop, and returned to his home in Babylon. Daniel was one of them.
2. The adolescent is torn from his family.
What would that be like for us today? Can you image your teenage son or grandchild snatched from their home and taken to a country where their language was not spoken by anyone? To a country where their culture would be like the Chinese culture would be to us, where their diet would be as foreign as our eating the foods of Pakistan or Morocco. A country where there would be no Christians or Jews. Virtually everything was shockingly new. Who would their friends be now? Would they even have friends? Life as a POW had begun.
3. The mind control and brain-washing begin.
The king begins to brainwash and indoctrinate them with the purpose of transforming them into Chaldeans. He wanted them to look like Jews on the outside but be Babylonian on the inside.
Note that there were four criteria by which they were selected. They were to be young. Mind control has always singled out the young.
Second, they were to be without any physical blemishes or handicaps. In-other-words, the king wanted handsome specimens. He wanted them to get a second and a third look. Third, they were to be superior in their intellect having had a "gifted education" and a propensity for learning. He wanted the guys with a 4.0 average. They would potentially be the leaders who could make distinctions and decisions and apply the law in practical situations. They would be the administrators of Jewish affairs. Lastly, they had to exhibit poise, good manners, and knowledge of the social graces. You see the king had a plan. He had already decided to invade Judah again, and these re-made Jews would be quite useful when their whole nation was brought bound and chained into town.
Their brainwashing began with studying "the language and literature of the Babylonians." It was a college and graduate course that included mastery of three languages, Chaldean, Akkadian, and Sumerian, studying college level math, astronomy, astrology, polytheism and architecture. This would be like a crash course for three years at Harvard and MIT and Cal Tech and Oxford today. Their indoctrination was further accomplished by seductively obligating them in giving them the finest food and beverage in the kingdom. They would be constantly reminded of the source of their daily bread and become accustomed to the good life if ever they were tempted to return to their old ways. A further attempt at obliterating their past came in giving them new names. To a Jew your name had great significance. Daniel ("my judge is God") is given the Babylonian name Belteshazzer ("Bel’s prince" or "Bel protect his life”). Bel meaning “Lord” was predominately used of “Marduk” the head of the Babylonian pantheon. Hananiah (" Yahweh has shown grace") was changed to Shadrach ("the command of Aku – the Sumerian moon god"). Mishael ("who is what God is?") was changed to Meshack ("who is what Aku is?"). Azariah ("the Lord has helped ") was changed to Abenego ("servant of Nebo or Nergal – god of wisdom and writing or of the netherworld").
What is remarkable, even stunning, is that in the face of these seemingly insurmountable odds, Daniel refuses to cave in. He refuses to compromise his convictions. And, as a result, he becomes for us a powerful example of how you cannot only survive, but shine and prosper, how you can experience an abundant life even in the most formidable of circumstances.
What makes a man or woman a champion is their resolve, their dogged determination, to live an uncompromising life when it comes to their morality or Christian convictions. It is that moment in time, that moment of decision, which results in a life worthy to be honored and emulated. Whether you are a child, a teenager, middle-aged or even in the senior years of your life, it is never too late, no matter what your past, no matter how great your failures, to become a champion!
Now back to our story. Daniel could accept his new name. He didn’t mind learning 3 new languages or studying math and the humanities. But he would not live what he believed to be an irreligious lifestyle. There he drew the line. There he dug his feet in. You see to eat the king’s food presented serious problems for him. It included foods like horse and pig meat which were forbidden for a Jew. Even acceptable foods were being prepared improperly (not kosher) and there was the issue of eating meat regularly offered to the Babylonian gods which he believed to be idols. Therefore, Daniel made up his mind, determined in his heart, to not defile himself by eating the King’s food. And he stuck to his guns. In so doing he gives us a beautiful illustration of what a life of integrity is like.
You have heard it said,” Every man has his price.” Your price is the point at which you sell out on your claimed conviction. It is the point at which you abandon your moral standard for personal gain. But is it true that everyone has his price? No, it is not! There are men and women who cannot be bought, who at no point will sell out. Martin Luther didn’t. Amy Carmichael didn’t, Billy Graham didn’t and as we come to our story, Daniel didn’t. You may disagree with where he drew the line. But you must admire that he did draw the line. In order to maintain a clear conscience and live an abundant life, some principles of conduct and belief must be established. It is important what you say and when you say it. It is important what habits you keep and what habits you lose. Now, I realize that in an everchanging world it will be very difficult at times to know when and where to draw the line. But God through Daniel will help you to know when, and the benefits to you will be beyond your wildest dreams. Now don’t think of drawing the line simply in terms of stopping something but more in terms of being something. How often it is said, “I have to stop gossiping.” Yes, that would be helpful, but why not think of the joy of saying good things, uplifting things when their back is turned. Instead of saying, “I have to stop complaining,” why not ask God to make words of praise, words of thankfulness become your default. He will! Imagine more and more being an instrument of bringing good, bringing joy, bringing love, bringing peace, bringing grace to all those around you. Remember the past is the past. You can’t change it, but you can change the present and ultimately your future. Today, tomorrow you can be a champion, you can be a victor. You can be a catalyst for changing lives.
Biblical Holiness for Ordinary People: Is it simply a list of rules to follow or an impossible ideal we strive to live up to? No!
The Perfect City
By John Piper
He has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:16)
No pollution, no graffiti, no trash, no peeling paint or rotting garages, no dead grass or broken bottles, no harsh street talk, no in-your-face confrontations, no domestic strife or violence, no dangers in the night, no arson or lying or stealing or killing, no vandalism, and no ugliness.
The city of God will be perfect, because God will be in it. He will walk in it and talk in it and manifest himself in every part of it. All that is good and beautiful and holy and peaceful and true and happy will be there, because God will be there.
Perfect justice will be there and recompense a thousandfold for every pain suffered in obedience to Christ in this world. And it will never deteriorate. In fact, it will shine brighter and brighter as eternity stretches out into unending ages of increasing joy.
When you desire this city above everything else on the earth, then you honor God, who, according to Hebrews 11:10, is the designer and builder of the city. And when God is honored, he is pleased and not ashamed to be called your God.
Why Isn’t God More Obvious?
Why is it that God does not seem to approach in a much more obvious way? One answer has been that God’s existence is not a matter of reality and facts. Isn’t it more of a faith position, anyway? Isn’t it more about a leap in the dark than an embrace of evidence?
I would agree that God isn’t “forcefully obvious,” but I don’t think that this confines God to being a “take-it-or-leave-it” matter of faith. I think it makes more sense to see God as clearly visible, whilst not being forcefully obvious.
Did you know that the Bible actually recognizes the validity of this question? First, we see passages that affirm the human perception that God seems hidden. In Job 23:8-9 we read, “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.”
Interestingly, there are also many examples of God appearing as if veiled in darkness, whilst still simultaneously offering his presence.(1) For instance we read that, “The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.” Jesus, too, invites people to trust in him and then leaves and hides himself. In John we find the story of a paralytic man who is healed, but then Jesus slips away into the crowd. Luke records that as news about Jesus spread, “he often withdrew to lonely places.” Later, Jesus tells the disciples that, “Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me.” Interestingly in many of these cases, God provides a clear sense of presence, while at the same time veiling the fullness of that presence.
So perhaps an unavoidable part of the Bible’s answer to why God seems hidden is because it’s true. But why? And what about those times when we need a present God most, when God could offer us real hope in times of suffering?
Well, when Jesus resisted the crowd, he concealed his identity until exactly the right moment in time to explicitly disclose it. This was a wise decision as the consequences of more explicit or obvious disclosure led fairly quickly to a successful campaign to have him executed. Could it be that God isn’t unavoidably obvious, but clear in a more qualified sense? Crucially, there is also no reason why something of this nature might not require some learning to begin to perceive or see on our part.
For example, imagine that I said that it is obvious, but not forcefully so, that you will need your passport to fly internationally. Now, notice carefully that you have to learn this bit of information. It is certainly not like a forcefully obvious brick wall that you cannot avoid. But it would still perhaps be a case of a failure to grasp the obvious if you arrived at the airport with your bags packed but without your passport. It’s this second sense (of non-forceful obviousness or avoidable clarity) that the case for God can be confidently approached.
But might this idea of God hiding merely provide a clever way for Christians to cling onto God in a scientific and evidence demanding age? This has been argued. Yet Christians do not claim that God doesn’t show himself, but rather that God chooses the means of the showing. And hiddenness may well be necessary to bring focus to the way God declares his existence through Jesus Christ. In fact, divine hiding creates the possibility of a more obvious disclosure or uncovering.
Atheist Bertrand Russell famously quipped that if he were faced with God when he died, he would demand an explanation for why God made the evidence of his existence so insufficient. We might be tempted to think he was being entirely reasonable. But perhaps the evidence we demand for God is directly related to who we think God is and what we think God’s purposes are. Hiddenness would make no sense if God’s aim was simply to relate to us as an object of knowledge that offered no real relational connection or friendship. If this was the divine purpose—that we would simply acknowledge God’s existence—then I am sympathetic to Russell’s demand for more evidence.
But let us suppose that God was unwilling to make an approach to human life merely through the intellect. Instead, let us imagine that God is seeking a relationship that is based upon a deeper and more profound personal insight or perception. Have you ever asked what kind of a relationship God might want with you?
Moreover, God has indeed been revealed plainly in the reality of a redemptive plan and action. The gospel is described as a mystery now made known. Many Christians can recall moments, or even seasons spanning years, where God has been plainly and clearly at work and life has been saturated with the presence and grace of Father, Son, and Spirit. Faith isn’t a blind faith, but a response to the evidence. It is based on real events that can be investigated. A leap in the dark has never been the offer, as it is about stepping into the light.
So perhaps the evidence that we demand is a consequence of who we think God is and what we think God’s purposes are? If God loves you and wants you to freely choose to return that love then perhaps sending his Son for you is enough to catch your attention
Tom Price is Academic Tutor at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and a member of the speaking team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Europe.
(1) Cf. Psalm 10:1; 22:1-2; 30:7; 44:23-24; 88:13-14; 89:46; Isaiah 45:15.
Hendrickter Brugghen, Incredulity of St Thomas, oil on canvas, 1622.
By John Piper
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (Romans 11:33)
Abraham Lincoln, who was born on this day in 1809, remained skeptical, and at times even cynical, about religion into his forties. So, it is a most striking thing how personal and national suffering drew Lincoln into the reality of God, rather than pushing him away.
In 1862, when Lincoln was 53 years old, his 11-year-old son Willie died. Lincoln’s wife “tried to deal with her grief by searching out New Age mediums.” Lincoln turned to Phineas Gurley, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington.
Several long talks led to what Gurley described as “a conversion to Christ.” Lincoln confided that he was “driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I have nowhere else to go.”
Similarly, the horrors of the dead and wounded soldiers assaulted him daily. There were fifty hospitals for the wounded in Washington. The rotunda of the Capitol held two thousand cots for wounded soldiers.
Typically, fifty soldiers a day died in these temporary hospitals. All of this drove Lincoln deeper into the providence of God. “We cannot but believe, that He who made the world still governs it.”
His most famous statement about the providence of God in relation to the Civil War was his Second Inaugural Address, given a month before he was assassinated. It is remarkable for not making God a simple supporter for the Union or Confederate cause. God has his own purposes and does not excuse sin on either side.
Fondly do we hope — fervently do we pray — that this mighty scourge of war might speedily pass away. . . .
Yet if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid with another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago so still it must be said, “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.”
I pray for all of you who suffer loss and injury and great sorrow that it will awaken for you, as it did for Lincoln, not an empty fatalism, but a deeper reliance on the infinite wisdom and love of God’s inscrutable providence.
"God forgives only the penitent (showing regret and repentance) and one of the chief evidences of true penitence is a forgiving spirit. Once our eyes have been opened to see the enormity of our offense against God, the injuries which others have done to us appear by comparison extremely trifling. If on the other hand, we have an exaggerated view of the offenses of others, it proves that we have minimized our own." John Stott
THE BEAUTY OF PRIVATE PRAYER:
Time alone frees us from the temptation to pray to the crowd instead of to God. We are unburdened by noise and distractions. Iti's easier to maintain our focus on the necessary object of our prayers - God. We may pray freely expressing the deepest and most private needs and joys of our hearts. We may shout with praise, sing in adoration, and weep in humble confession. This private place gives us the quiet needed to listen, to hear, to contemplate the words of voice of God. We will be alone, but wonderfully not alone, for God will hear our every word and know our every thought and will reward us accordingly.
My Help Comes From the Lord: Often the cry of the human heart is “Help!” Alistair Begg @ Truth for Life