Orientation is the relative physical position of something. The use of the word has gone up dramatically in the past several years, due to the use of it in relation to sexual orientation. Not what we’re focused on today.
Muslims orient themselves toward Mecca in their prayers and worship. There are indicators of where it is all over the place if you’re a Muslim.
Daniel 6:1-5; 10-11. Why might Daniel have oriented himself toward Jerusalem? 1. Because the temple was there? No. It was destroyed. Daniel would’ve known that it had been destroyed
2. Because God was there? No. God’s presence was no longer there.
3. Because he was looking forward to his return? Unlikely. (10:1).
4. Because of his faith and hope in God’s promises? Yes - 9:1-5; 16-19. Notice, even though he was inspired he studied the scriptures. He knew God was going to restore the temple and bring back His people.
Notice he seems to go pray in response to the king’s edict. What did orienting himself possibly accomplish for Daniel? 1. Focused his vision on the right priorities.
2. Reduced distractions to his thinking (the Babylonian environment)
3. Emphasized his dependence on God
What about us? - Do our prayers change when the threats are “bigger” than us? Sometimes we get comfortable praying to God because we pray about the same things every day. We don’t have the urgency or helpless feeling because life in general is going ok.
- Do our prayers come more focused when we’re under duress?
- Do worldly things sometimes creep into your thoughts when you’re praying and suddenly you find yourself not even praying but thinking about something else entirely?
How do we orient ourselves to pray in such times? We need to pray in an environment when at all possible that is conducive to prayer. Do we adopt a different posture, find an isolated place, eliminate distractions? We should want to pray like Daniel .... all the time! What’s my orientation? - Set my mind on things above. Col 3:1-16.
- Put to death earthly behavior
- Above all, put on love
- Let the peace of Christ rule in me
Make Jesus my “compass” Heb 4:14-15; 12:1-2. Orienteering is a competition for scouts in finding your way across rough country with a map and a compass. How are we orienteering through life? Our map should be God’s Word. Our compass should be Jesus.