July 5 I Tuesday
“Three times a day [Daniel] got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” —Daniel 6:10
Was there a time when our success caused others to envy and plan harm on us? This was the case for Daniel. His servitude pleased King Darius so much that the king wanted to set Daniel over the whole kingdom. His co-workers—administrators and government officials—wanted to complain against Daniel but realized that they “will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God” (Daniel 6:5). Hence, they hatched a plan for the king to “issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to [King Darius], shall be thrown into the lions’ den” (Daniel 6:7). Is it not telling that these men rightly ascertained that the only way to get at Daniel was something with the law of his God?
At the new decree, Daniel was forced to choose between God’s law and man’s law. We are told, “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened towards Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (Daniel 6:10). Daniel did not change a thing; he chose to obey God’s laws and not man’s laws.
We see in Daniel’s life that he is not worried or concerned. He continued to cultivate his disciplined life of prayer just as he had done before. Daniel could have prayed at nighttime with the windows closed or have gone into a room where there were no windows, but he was obedient to pray in the way he always had, without hiding his face.
In looking at our modern culture, B. Graham Dienert wrote this about prayer: “Many people pray as if God were a big aspirin pill; they come only when they hurt.” The reality is we get into trouble in our lives, when trials or testings come. If we have not cultivated a life of prayer, we are quick to grasp at God like He is an aspirin pill that is supposed to take the pain away. But we see in the life of Daniel that he would rather be eaten by lions than stop praying to God.
When we face trials of various kinds, what is our prayer life like? Is our prayer to God like aspirin, where we take Him off the shelf when we need Him to fix our problems, or is He our revered God that we commune with daily?
Prayer: Lord God, cultivate in me a life of prayer like Daniel’s, unwavering and constant even under trials and testings. Thank You, Lord.