Here is another devotional study from my recently published book: STRENGTH FOR TODAY. It is taken from the book of Daniel, chapter 6.
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house, and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” (Dan. 6:10)
This is a most encouraging passage of Scripture as it relates to the power of prayer. Truly, Daniel was a man of prayer. There are a number of practical spiritual lessons for us here in Daniel, chapter 6:
First, we note that Daniel’s PERSONAL LIFE WAS CLEAN. Jealousy erupted inside of king Darius’ administration towards Daniel. Three of the provincial presidents under him were determined to ruin his political career, so they tricked the king into signing a hasty decree. Basically, the decree stated that anyone found praying to any god other than the gods of Persia would be put to death by being cast into a lion’s den. Verse 4 says, “Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom, but they could find no occasion nor fault, inasmuch as he was faithful. Neither was there any error or fault in him.” What a testimony! In order to have an effective prayer life we must first have a pure personal life. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” (Psa. 66:18)
Second, we note that Daniel’s PRAYER LIFE WAS CONSISTENT. When he knew the writing was signed, he still prayed, just as he had done every day before. Too often, we only go to God in prayer when we are in trouble. Daniel’s prayer life was consistent, day after day. And the day of his great trial was no different. But observe here that he not only prayed, but he also gave thanks. Think of it! He gave thanks!
He didn’t try to hide to save his life. He didn’t protest to the king about the mistake he made signing the decree. He didn’t become bitter over his unfair situation, how he was mistreated by his co-workers. He didn’t do any of that. He prayed and gave thanks. How could a man condemned to death in a lion’s den “give thanks”? Well, let’s consider what he had to be thankful for:
First, the faithfulness of God to him in the past. God had prospered his health, given him wisdom, delivered his 3 friends from the fiery furnace, and promoted him to a high position. God had been good to him.
Second, the promises of God’s Word. The reason Daniel was on his knees facing Jerusalem was this: he was claiming an important promise found in I Kings 8:46-48. God gave His people Israel specific directions on how they should pray if they were ever taken as captives to a foreign land. Daniel was claiming that promise.
Third, he was thankful for the opportunity he now had to glorify God, "whether by life or by death" (Phil. 1:20).
Finally, we note that Daniel’s POWERFUL FAITH WAS CONTAGIOUS. Even king Darius was “pulling for him” because he knew he had been tricked. Before Daniel was cast into the lion's den, Darius declared: “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you!” Daniel’s faith had made such an impression on the king that he himself said God could deliver him from death. Daniel was saved “because he believed in his God.” (vs. 23) Oh, the power of prayer! If only we, like Daniel, would avail ourselves of it.