“But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.” Daniel 6:10
An effective prayer life can be seen in Daniel, one of the most successful men who ever lived. As a young man, Daniel was taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar. Because of his intelligence and potential, he was taken into the king’s court and trained for diplomatic service. God blessed Daniel and he rose to prominence. Even when the Persians conquered the Babylonians, Daniel was placed in a top position of authority because of his wisdom, ability, and excellent reputation. However, Daniel became the victim of jealousy by other wise men in the kingdom. They knew Daniel was ethical, morally faultless, and faithful to God. The only way they would be able to discredit him would be related to his faith. They persuaded the king to pass a decree that no one could pray to anyone except to the king himself or they would be put to death. Daniel heard about the decree, but he had settled in his heart that nothing would keep him from being faithful to the Lord, so he continued to pray as normal with his windows open toward Jerusalem. The men arrested Daniel and brought him to the king. Even though the king loved Daniel, he had no choice but to have him thrown into a den of lions. The next day, the king anxiously called out to Daniel in the lion’s den, but “not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.” (Daniel 6:23)
It’s important to note that Daniel’s prayer was not just an emergency measure, but instead was a long-established practice in his life. Prayer was actually Daniel’s way of dealing with the problems of life. Sadly, the same cannot be said of most Christians today. However, when we face the overwhelming issues of life, our first inclination, no matter what the problem, should be prayer. Our lives should not be lived at the mercy of our moods, external pressures, or ongoing crises. Instead, they should be lived in complete reliance upon the Lord, demonstrated by prayer.
The Bible doesn’t reveal to us what Daniel did the day after he was released from the lion’s den. However, after his experience in the lion’s den, it is way beyond likely that he resumed his practice of praying at least three times every day. Prayer had been Daniel’s habit but it became his life. He knew that developing good habits, especially habits involving daily prayer, is a key to success in life. We can all learn from Daniel’s example and make prayer a daily, practical, and powerful practice in our own lives.
Followup Activity - Open your personal calendar. Have you designated a daily time for prayer? If so, make sure it is written on your calendar. If not, read through your regular appointments, then pray as you determine the best time for you to pray each day. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, guide each member to do the same.
Prayer for Today - Lord, help me always prioritize my prayer life. Help me spend time with You everyday. In Jesus’ name, Amen.