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 Sunday school classes and church services to encourage people’s faith. God sending His angel to shut the lion’s mouth has inspired 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 know the circumstances that caused Daniel 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. As a result, 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.
At the same, because Daniel quickly gained favor with the Persians and was made one of the new king’s 120 governors, the other leaders became jealous of him (Daniel 6:1-4). The spiteful leaders tried to trap him and get him removed. Since they couldn’t find any fault in his life, they choose to find issue with his relationship with God. They tricked King Darius into signing a law that basically said no one could pray to any other god except him for thirty days (Daniel 6:7).
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. When God delivered Daniel, King Darius then threw the men who devised the plan into the den and honored Daniel and the one true God.
Think about this, Daniel could have been spared the initial arrest and punishment if he simply would have stopped praying.
Some people in the church wouldn’t have to worry about getting arrested like Daniel for praying because there wouldn’t be enough evidence to convict them!
Others might find a command to stop praying to be a relief because they treat praying like a laborious chore. We can all learn a lesson of faith from Daniel’s prayer life. He not only understood the personal benefits of prayer, but he also believed in the national benefits of prayer. Because of Daniel’s national prayers of repentance for Israel, God was merciful and restored the Jews back to their land after seventy years of captivity (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 prayer life?
- Repent to God if you have not been praying regularly. Leonard Ravenhill said, “No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few prayers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.”
- Joyfully establish and maintain a life of prayer.
- By faith, never stop praying!
One Year Reading Plan
Ezekiel 37:1-38:23, James 1:19-2:17, Psalm 117:1-2, & Proverbs 28:1. Click here to read online.