Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.”
Daniel was one of several young men taken into the service of the king of Babylon after the king of Judah had lost a war. The young men chosen to serve the king were smart and strong and easily learned the Babylonian language.
However, Daniel was also one of the young men who was wise enough to get permission when he wanted to depart from the king’s plans. He had understanding, wisdom, and a pleasant persuasiveness that showed the king that Daniel and his friends were special. The king made it possible for Daniel and his friends to continue worshipping their God.
When the king found out that Daniel was able to help him understand his dreams because God told him what to say, the king rewarded him with gifts and high position in the kingdom. After the king died and his son became the ruler, Daniel interpreted a mystery for him and was promoted to the third highest position in the kingdom. When King Darius took over, Daniel was given high rank, with many administrators and satraps accountable to his authority.
These men found that Daniel was praying a different way, diligently praying to a different God. They encouraged King Darius to throw into the lions’ den anyone who prays to anyone other than the king. The king agreed, but was distressed to find out that Daniel had been praying to his God three times each day and had not stopped. Even though he wanted to, the king couldn’t stop them from throwing Daniel into the lions’ den, according to the king’s decree.
When King Darius found out the next morning that Daniel had survived his punishment, King Darius let Daniel out and had the men who had accused Daniel thrown into the lions’ den.
Daniel had experienced a lifetime of praying to God. He knew of God’s power and mercy. No one could do what Daniel did unless they had an intimate relationship with God. Most people don’t rely on God’s wisdom and guidance if he’s a stranger to them.
Prayer was a necessary part of life for Daniel. He knew God was with him. So if God was with him, why not talk to him? Why not access the wisdom that was involved with the creation of the universe?
When you and I are devoted to prayer as Daniel was, our relationship with God will improve. And no matter what comes against us, we can stay in contact with Almighty God. Daniel went through several threats against his life, but never doubted God’s power to save.
We can bring God’s light and life to our communities. We can be as steadfast as Daniel. But we must keep seeking God.