Join me in the 10-day Daniel Challenge! – by Melody Mason

IMG_3604Daniel and his friends undoubtedly had been living peacefully in Jerusalem when suddenly their world forever changed.

The year was 605 B.C. and the forces of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar had invaded Judah. As a result, Daniel and his friends were taken captive together with other strong talented youth from Jerusalem. Surprisingly, rather than being cast into prison or assigned to some forced labor camp, Daniel and his friends found themselves placed among the favored of Nebuchadnezzar, with even the king’s own food and drink placed before them.

However the Bible tells us: “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8).

At Daniel’s insistence, he and his friends were given a 10-day test on vegetables and water to see how they would do. We can imagine that they prayed earnestly during those 10 days, and God heard their cries.

The Bible tells us, “And at the end of 10 days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies” (Daniel 1:15).

Later, when brought before the King, they were found to be 10 times wiser than all the king’s worldly astrologers and wise men (see Daniel 1:17-20).

Just like Daniel, we too have been taken captive. We actually live in a world that has been under Babylonian siege — that of Satan — for more than 60 centuries. As a result, we are dealing with ravages of war on all sides, even in the church: failed marriages, broken homes, lost children, declining health, spiritual compromise, and much more. Yet our case is not hopeless for we serve a mighty God who is even now able to take what the enemy has meant for evil and turn it to good for His glory (Genesis 50:20).

Imagine if we, like Daniel and his friends, stood up and said: “I don’t want to compromise under this wicked kingdom. I want to prove God. I want to test His Word. I want to be faithful so that He can use me for His glory.”

For the last few years, I’ve made it a habit to start my New Year with what I call the “Daniel Challenge.” It’s a 10-21 day fast where I seek to put away all spiritual distractions (including regular food, media activities, etc) as I seek to refocus on going deeper in my walk with God. My life is richer as a result.

Join me in taking the “Daniel Challenge” today!

Melody Mason, is coordinator of United in Prayer

Note: To view this week’s world church prayer requests, click here!

To download & print this blog, practical application, & prayer requests, click here!

Practical Application: IMG_5986

We are currently in the midst of the 10 Days of Prayer for the world church which runs from January 6-16, 2016. If you aren’t already involved, it’s not too late to jump on board. In fact, even if your church isn’t following the 10 Days of Prayer, you can, like many others, still do 10 days of prayer on your own by incorporating the principles below. The timing for the 10 Days of Prayer is not so important as the fact that you make time do it.

Here’s 10 Tips to Help you get the Most out of the 10 Days of Prayer:

  1. Go on a Daniel’s fast – take the Daniel’s challenge: That means just simple fruits and vegetables. Some prefer to do natural juices during this time. Don’t be too legalistic about how you fast. Just simplify the best you can, keeping in mind that the less stimulants and refined products you ingest, the more clearly you can think and focus on God.
  2. Also it’s important to cut out all media. Turn off the Radio, TV, and all forms of electronic media and entertainment. Many will stay away from their social networks during this time, just to cut out unnecessary distractions.
  3. It’s very important that we dedicate extra time for prayer and Bible study during these 10 days. If you have certain burdens on your heart, give them to God and pray for them fervently, claiming His promises.
  4. If you aren’t involved in a church that’s participating in the 10 days of prayer, considering asking a friend or some family members to join you in special prayer each day. You can also call up random friends on the phone, and ask how you can pray for them.
  5. While meeting in person is always best, this isn’t always possible. Consider joining with others via a daily prayer call via the phone or Skype. For those in the United States, free conference call lines are available. Just type “free conference call” into your favorite search engine for more information. A new Adventist video service called is also a great way to video chat and pray with friends and small groups.
  6. Another way to share prayer with your community is to take a friend and go door-to-door asking how you can pray for people. Some may turn you down, but many will be open to your prayers.
  7. Another creative way to bless others would be to write cards or notes of prayer and encouragement to different fellow church members or friends. With Internet and e-mail at our fingertips, we don’t write many regular letters or cards these days. Your words of courage and prayer could be just what someone needs to help them through.
  8. On the last day of the 10 Days of Prayer, some churches have chosen to hold a spiritual retreat or an agape feast sharing time and consecration service. If not participating with a church, you could do this on your own or with your family—just taking time for a special meal and sharing how God has been working in your life over the years. As we reflect on His blessings in the past, we can have hope for how He will continue to lead in the future. Be sure to seal the evening with a prayer of personal re-dedication.
  9. Other churches, on the final day of prayer, have started a 30-day intercessory prayer program where members were encouraged to pray for 30 days for three people who are not part of the congregation. You can do this on your own as well. As you pray for backslidden members or non-saved friends, make an extra effort to reach out to them, and let them know you care, maybe even invite them to your home or church for fellowship.
  10.  When you pray, even if alone, know that you are not alone, for you are joining thousands around the world also lifting up their hearts to God. And He promises to answer every sincere prayer. And if you want even greater blessings, don’t stop at 10 days. Go for 21, based on Daniel Chapter 10.

Dear Heavenly Father, as we take the 10-day Daniel Challenge, we pray that You would take us deeper in our walk with You. We don’t fast and pray just so that You will bless us. You aren’t a Genie in the sky just merely up in heaven waiting to cater to our wishes. We pray because we love You and we desperately need You to take control of our lives. In fact, we’d be lost without You. Forgive us when we get so distracted that we lose our hold on You. Forgive us for getting so occupied with superficial activities and pleasures that our minds become dull and we don’t hear Your still small voice. As we are in the first couple weeks of this New Year, we want to dedicate ourselves to You once again. We need Your Holy Spirit. Most of all, we need You! Thank You for hearing our prayers. Thank You for filling us with Your Spirit! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Click here to DOWNLOAD Special Bible Promises for prayer!