Daniel 6:10, “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”
Many Christians around the world are familiar with the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. The story has been told in countless Sunday school classes and church services to encourage people’s faith. God sending His angel to shut the lion’s mouth has encouraged countless people to face their hardships knowing that if God is for them nothing can stand against them, Daniel 6:22. However, most people don’t remember Daniel’s circumstances prior to the lion’s den that actually caused him to get sent there.
In summary, Daniel was a young Jewish man that was captured and forced to work in Babylon. During his time in Babylon the empire went from being ruled by the Babylonians to the Medes and Persians. Thus, much of the favor he and his three friends (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) had received under King Nebuchadnezzar was forgotten under King Darius, the new Persian King.
However, because Daniel quickly began to regain favor with the Persians and was made one of 120 governors of the kingdom the other leaders became jealous of him, Daniel 6:1-4. So they tried to trap him and get him removed. However, since they couldn’t find any compromise or dishonesty in his life, they choose to find fault with his religion. So they tricked King Darius into signing a law that basically said no one could pray to any other god except him (because they worshipped him as a god).
Once the law was made these men waited secretly by Daniel’s window to see if he would keep his three daily prayer times facing Jerusalem. Once they saw him pray they captured him and threw him into the lion’s den as punishment. And because God delivered him King Darius then threw the men who devised the plan into the den and honored Daniel and his God (the one true God).
Think about this, Daniel could have been spared the initial arrest, embarrassment, and punishment if he simply would have stopped praying. Some people in the church wouldn’t have had to worry about getting arrested for praying because there wouldn’t be enough evidence to convict them! Others might even find such an edict to “stop praying” to be a “relief” because they treat praying like a laborious chore.
In turn, we can all learn a lesson of faith from Daniel’s prayer life. He not only understood the great personal benefit from prayer- but also the national benefit. Because of Daniel’s national prayers of repentance for Israel God was just in restoring them back to their land, Daniel 9:1-19. Therefore, may we always follow the words of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and “pray continually!”
Do you have a consistent daily prayer life?
- Repent to God if you have not been praying regularly.
- Joyfully establish and maintain a life of prayer and worship to God.
- Like Daniel, by faith, never stop praying!