“Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.” – Daniel 6:4-5.
The story of Daniel in the lion’s den is one of the most familiar lessons in the entire Bible. It is a story that has direct application to our lives today.
Daniel wakes up and a new day is streaming in through the open windows. Daniel kneels humbly at the window and sends an earnest prayer up to his only Lord. He does this three times a day, and today is no exception. But now he is bending his knees at an entirely different risk than before. It is actually life-threatening to kneel before anyone other than the king today. Like everyone else in the land of Babylon, Daniel had read the latest decree sent out from the king. Those who worship anyone other than the king during the next thirty days shall be cast into the lions’ den. It is truly an awful fate.
Daniel could have avoided this entire situation. Just a little adjustment in his commitment, and you could have avoided this entire thing. He could have set aside his daily routine for a month or so. Or he could have gone someplace where nobody would see him praying. But he will not bend or postpone his commitment to God. Very simply, Daniel’s commitment to God was not altered by his circumstances… whether good or bad. Daniel’s unwavering stance for God caused the trip to the lion’s den. God shut the mouths of the lions and Daniel was not harmed.
One of the chief lessons we learn from this story is gleaned from the confession of King Darius himself: “I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end.” (Daniel 6:26). Hebrews 11:33 says, “By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions,”
There’s no doubt: prayer does not come naturally. It is something that we all need to strive for. If we are not careful, we might slowly come to a point where our conscience does not bother us anymore when we fail to pray
The life of Daniel offers us the clearest example of how to cultivate a life of praying. Daniel went through just about every situation we could imagine. He was captured in war and was subjected to great danger as he was abducted and sent off as a prize to the winning side. In these trials and through the next decades there was one common denominator in his life: the habit of prayer.
- Most believers believe it is difficult to pray if you don’t spend time in the word. Agree or disagree and why?
- What keeps you from the habit (routine) of praying? What can you do this week to overcome those obstacles?