Daniel’s Life of Prayer

 

Daniel was a man of persistent praying. His life of prayer was nurtured from the time he was captured as a young man, and was forged out of critical and dangerous circumstances. When King Nebuchadnezzar was troubled by a dream, Daniel and his friends prayed ardently together to the God of heaven for mercy to reveal the mystery of the dream, so that they and the other wise men of Babylon would not all perish. (Daniel 2:18) Eventually, God did reveal the mystery through Daniel, who interpreted the significance of the king’s dream regarding the large statue to him. Through his old age, Daniel did not alter his life of prayer. His enemies noticed it as well, and tried to use a royal decree to trap and ambush him. Yet Daniel continued to maintain his practice of kneeling in the direction of Jerusalem and praying three times a day, and did not shirk his commitment despite the king’s edict. (Daniel 6:10) In the end God sealed the mouths of the lions and delivered him from the hands of his enemies. Daniel was truly a man who shared a close relationship with God. That is why the Lord allowed him to understand all manner of visions and prophesies from dreams, and revealed to him myriad mysteries. Nebuchadnezzar too saw that he had the spirit of “the holy gods” in him. (Daniel 4:8,18) Even the queen praised him for his spiritual acumen - having the spirit of the holy gods inside, with insight, intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. (Daniel 5:11) All these relate greatly to Daniel’s life of prayer.

 

Daniel was declared by God to be highly esteemed (Daniel 9:23), and the Lord even sent the angel Gabriel in swift flight to him to instruct him and give him further insight and understanding so that he could comprehend the prophesy of the seventy sevens. These all pertain closely to his training in prayer. In the first year of Darius’ reign as ruler of the Babylonian (Chaldean) kingdom, Daniel learned from the scripture of Jeremiah’s prophesy that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. He had an immediate perception. So he fasted and put on sackcloth and ashes. Earnestly he prayed and petitioned the Lord on behalf of himself, all the people of the land, their kings, princes and fathers, both near and far. For their sin and rebellion against God he offered a sincere prayer of repentance. Daniel begged the righteous Lord, in keeping with His righteous acts, to hear his plea, and turn away His anger and His wrath from the holy city of Jerusalem and the people, and to forgive and bestow grace once again according to His great mercy. Daniel’s prayer of repentance connected with the part of human offering that pleases the Lord, so God granted him abundant blessings, giving him additional insight and wisdom to understand even more spiritual mysteries.

 

From Daniel, we can learn the following lessons concerning prayer: (1) Persistent prayer is a component of holy life that pleases God. (2) The concerted prayers of fellow believers can animate the work of God, and God is pleased to grant petitions borne of faith. (3) The primary goal of Satan the enemy is to disrupt our lives of prayer. (4) If we do not terminate our praying even under difficult circumstances, the faithful Lord will surely protect and dispense His grace. (5) A man who continually prays will always have light from the word of God, so that others can tell that God is with him. (6) An earnest prayer of repentance to God is often the starting point of the Lord’s work. (7) More revelations, wisdom and intelligence stem from prayer and supplication to God.

 

Now that we have heard the messages from these 3 days of spiritual nurturing, we will hopefully understand the Lord’s mercy and our own inadequacies better. This afternoon the church will have a self-examination prayer meeting. Let’s all come before the Lord, pray for the grace of His forgiveness for sin, revere and await Him, and put into practice the aforementioned lessons of prayer, until God once again receives from among us the glory due.

 

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

 

By: Daniel To