DEATH DEFYING PRAYER
By Carolyn Dale Newell
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
Daniel 6:10 NKJV
What would prevent you from praying? A ban on prayer? The presence of your co-workers? Time constraints? Daniel exemplified great faith, and prayed in spite of serious persecution.
King Darius had promoted Daniel to one of the highest positions in the Babylonian government. Jealous of Daniel, the other government representatives, the satraps and governors, sought to find some indiscretion in Daniel (Dan. 6:4). Daniel was a captive from Judah, and they could not allow him to have a higher position than them. The Medes and Persians had a custom which made it impossible to repeal any law once the king signed it making it official. With this knowledge, the satraps and governors secretly plotted to make a law to implicate Daniel for praying to God. The penalty for prayer would be death, in the lion’s den.
Aware of the law and its dire consequences, Daniel faithfully prayed as usual. When a government passes a law contradicting the Bible, Christians must obey God and His holy Word (Acts 4:17-21). Amazingly, Daniel did not pray for God to swiftly rescue him from his impending doom. Daniel gave thanks to God (Dan. 6:10). He was grateful even in the face of death.
Thrilled, they had caught Daniel breaking a law, the satraps and governors hastened to share their news with the king. “The king… was greatly displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him.” (Dan. 6:14). The men reminded King Darius he could not change the law. Much to King Darius’ dismay, they hurried Daniel to the lions’ den. The distraught king told Daniel the God he served would faithfully deliver him from the deadly jaws of the lions. Did King Darius genuinely believe this, or was he anxiously clinging to one thread of hope?
King Darius encountered a long, sleepless night because he was deeply concerned about Daniel. As morning dawned, he wasted no time getting to Daniel. The king cried out to Daniel, hoping God had delivered him. To the king’s delight, Daniel was alive! “…no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.” (Dan. 6:24). Daniel believed in his God! He trusted God! Daniel patiently and totally relied on God, and God faithfully delivered him.
Are you in a lions’ den? It may be your health, or emotional turmoil. Possibly your finances are a mess, or you have problems at work. Perhaps, you are facing persecution, like Daniel. Whatever trial you are going through today, God already knows.
God is able to deliver you just like He delivered Daniel. Sometimes our hearts grow anxious, but we must trust God. We must be patient and rely on God for His timing, just like Daniel. We need Daniel’s faith – not a “hope so” faith, but a “know so” faith. Friend, let us give thanks to God who is mighty to deliver us, and pray for stronger faith. The faith that muzzles lions.
Lord, thank you for Your many blessings and for being our deliverer. You have delivered us from sin, death, and hell. You have delivered us from more than we will ever know. Strengthen our faith that we may have the faith of Daniel. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Read Hebrews 11:1.
HIKING THE TRAIL
Commit more time to prayer and be intentional about it. Put it on your calendar if necessary. Seek stronger faith as you pray. Look for mileposts in your life that prove your faith is growing.
Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.