Ellen G. White Writings

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From the Heart, Page 17

The Importance of Prayer, January 5

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. Daniel 1:8.

Prayer is not understood as it should be. Our prayers are not to inform God of something He does not know. The Lord is acquainted with the secrets of every soul. Our prayers need not be long and loud. God reads the hidden thought. We may pray in secret, and He who sees in secret will hear and will reward us openly....

Prayer is not intended to work any change in God; it brings us into harmony with God. It does not take the place of duty.... Prayer will not pay our debts to God. The servants of Christ are to rely upon God as did Daniel in the courts of Babylon. Daniel knew the value of prayer, its aim, and its object; and the prayers which he and his three companions offered to God after being chosen by the king for the courts of Babylon, were answered.

There was another class of captives carried into Babylon. These the Lord permitted to be torn from their homes and carried into a land of idolaters because they were themselves continually going into idolatry. The Lord let them have all they desired of the idolatrous practices of Babylon....

As the wisdom of the world viewed the matter, Daniel and his three companions had every advantage secured to them in the courts of Babylon, but it was here that their first great test was to come. Their principles were to come into collision with the regulations and appointments of the king....

Daniel and his three companions did not take the position that because their food and drink were of the king's appointment it was their duty to partake of it. They prayed over the matter and studied the Scriptures. Their education had been of such a character that they felt even in their captivity that God was their dependence.... The appearance of Daniel and his companions was like what every youth's should be. They were courteous, kind, respectful, possessing the grace of meekness and modesty....

When we are surrounded by influences calculated to lead us away from God, our petitions for help and strength must be unwearied. Unless this is so, we shall never be successful in breaking down pride and overcoming the power of temptation to sinful indulgences which keep us from the Savior.—Youth's Instructor, August 18, 1898.

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