Praying Through the Bible #92
TEXT: Daniel 6:1-11
You and I are very familiar with the story of Daniel in the lions’ den. Daniel was taken from his homeland as a captive to the land of Babylon. He was trained by Babylonian teachers, and early on, he exhibited a desire to trust God, obey God, and be faithful to God even in a foreign land. Because of his dedication to God, he is one of the most well-known heroes of the Old Testament. Daniel was also a dedicated prayer warrior.
John Piper said Daniel lived “a life of daring, defiant, disciplined prayer. Daniel was more immersed in secular life than most of us and he lived by prayer. What God thought and what God did mattered most. So Daniel lived by consulting God and by asking God to act.”
Today, we are going to look at an example of Daniel’s prayer-filled lifestyle — a time in his life when he was “found praying.” Based on this passage, I want to ask you three questions that will challenge you to be faithful in prayer just as Daniel was.
1. Will you be found praying in times of abundant blessings? Our passage states, “It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.” Darius was the king of the Persian empire. His kingdom was so vast — it stretched from India to the Mediterranean — that he had to set up 120 governors to rule different provinces. And over those governors, he set up three presidents who reported directly to him. Daniel was chosen as one of the three presidents, and the Bible tells us that he was “the first” among the three. The Bible goes on to tell us that “Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.”
2. Will you be found praying in times of adversity? This passage tells us that the other two presidents of the Persian empire and some other leaders in the kingdom were jealous of Daniel and his favor with the king. So, they got together in order to come up with a way to get Daniel in trouble. And the only thing that they could devise was an attack on Daniel’s faithfulness in prayer. These jealous leaders go to the king and say, “All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.”
3. Will you be found praying when it seems like you are abandoned and alone? Daniel was not only faithful in times of abundance and in times of adversity, but Daniel was faithful in praying in times when it seemed like he was alone. When Daniel’s enemies found him praying, they immediately ran to the king to report that Daniel had broken the law. The Bible tells us that the king who loved Daniel “was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.”
Daniel’s story shows us that God rewards faithful, consistent prayer to Him. You know how Daniel’s story ends. Because of Daniel’s faithfulness, God delivered Him from the lions’ den. When the king came to check on Daniel the next morning, Daniel said, “My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” The Bible says, “So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.”
Do you believe God enough to be found praying in times of abundance? Do you believe God enough to be found praying in times of adversity? Do you believe God enough to be found praying when you feel like you are abandoned and alone? The question for us today is, no matter the circumstances, will we be found praying?