Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
Daniel was in a predicament. Because of a devious new law, he was forbidden from praying to God. If Daniel talked to God, he would be found guilty before the king and punished with death.
What should Daniel do? What would you do?
It would have been easy for Daniel to skip his prayer time for thirty days. Most, if not all, would have understood and probably agreed with him. Many could have justified his conduct with clever speeches or shrewd messages.
The issue, Daniel knew what was right before God. Yes he could abide by the world’s foolish law but he would place himself in opposition to the God he loved.
Was Daniel right in praying? Was it okay for him to break the law of the nation he lived in? Those are good questions that must be considered.
The crafty law was in direct opposition to God’s Word. By establishing the king as the only one to be petitioned, the decree effectively made the king a god. It exalted the king while minimizing the LORD. For thirty days everyone had to look to the king. Darius would be honored while the LORD would go without praise or worship.
The Bible makes it very clear that the LORD alone is worthy of worship. So prayers should be directed Him and nobody else. To put a man in the place of God is foolish and dangerous.
Daniel was given a choice, follow the direction of the world or live unto God. For a man that loved the LORD the answer was easy, he would continue to pray. The kingdom could oppose God, but Daniel would not.
Daniel was correct, and prayed because it was the right thing to do.
Daniel did nothing new. He did not pray to make a point or to stir up a violent rebellion. He prayed that day because that’s what he did every day. It was not a demonstration of his rights but devotion due to a righteous heart. Daniel always prayed.
It seems that Daniel followed David’s pattern. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. You see, Daniel did not begin to pray that day, but he continued to pray that day.
Unfortunately, many people view prayer as an escape mechanism rather than a constant line of communication with God. They pray because they need help and not necessarily to honor the LORD. If it takes a trial to get you to your knees before God, than something is wrong with your prayer life. Daniel prayed like he always did.
Daniel was consistent, and prayed because he always prayed.
Although Daniel did not purposely cause a scene, he also refused to cower down before the world. Aware of the penalty for breaking the law, Daniel continued to pray to God. He did not run to find a place to hide or cowardly submit to the ungodly law.
He may have been tempted to compromise his beliefs. Why pray and die, some might have advised him. Or, why take a chance with your life Daniel? It’s only thirty days, you can pray later. Daniel refused to hide his love for the LORD. The ungodliness of others did not determine his behavior.
Even though it was not easy, he did what was right. Daniel boldly prayed.
Daniel was courageous, and prayed because he was not afraid of what the world could do to him.
To Daniel, praying was like breathing, just part of life.
How about you? Do you pray to the LORD? Do you talk to God?