Daniel was an upright believer in God who was in a position of power in Babylon. His adversaries hated him and sought to discredit him. They tried but could find nothing to hold against him. So, they got the idea to ask King Darius, over the Medo-Persian Empire, to make a law that no one could pray to any other god but him for a whole month. The king was pleased, puffed up and overtaken with pride, so he signed a law making it unlawful, on penalty of death, to worship any god but him. The men who hated Daniel knew Daniel prayed to the God of Israel three times a day without fail. They were hoping that he could continue this and then they could catch him and have him put to death.
Daniel 6:10 “When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.” Daniel knew of their hatred and deceit but he trusted God more. The story continues and Daniel is called before the king for praying to his God. The king realized his mistake but could not change the law, since once a law was signed even the king was helpless to change it. The penalty was being cast into a den with hungry lions. The king liked Daniel and did not want to see him killed but was powerless. The unbelieving king did something amazing, “Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” “Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him. Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” Daniel 6:16,18,19-22
The lesson for us in this favorite Old Testament story that is that Daniel was committed to God. He knew his God was more powerful than any earthly king, and he would not relinquish God’s place of preeminence in his life to anyone, no matter the cost. Daniel 6:10 said he prayed as was his custom and gave thanks. Nothing could deter Daniel from prayer and thanksgiving. Romans 12:12 describes Daniel’s attitude towards prayer. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
What about you? What stops you from praying daily? Our obstacles could not be any bigger than death by lions, but we let them rob us of our prayer time and take away our opportunities to give thanks and praise Almighty God. Will you mediate on this today and ask God to reveal to you what is taking preeminence in your life that keeps you from regular prayer? Confess it to Him and start praying regularly with praise and thanksgiving.