Daniel’s example of the power of prayer
Like most people, I love the book of Daniel, for many reasons, not the least of which it is only 12 chapters long. Yet, within those 12 chapters, exists enough mystery, supernatural experience, and foundational doctrine to spend an entire lifetime studying without completely mining its depths. Most believers are familiar with some of the events that take place within Daniel if only from the children’s storybooks they read in Shabbat or Sunday school. The book contains the “Fiery Furnace,” “The Handwriting on the Wall,” “The King’s Dream of the Statue of Four Kingdoms,” and “The Den of Lions.”
However, within the book, in the middle of these supernatural events is a key to why these events took place and the key to have the supernatural take place in your life when you are under spiritual attack.
As this amazing book begins, we are introduced to Daniel and three other Jewish men: Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, who had been taken as slaves to Babylon from Jerusalem. These four men are the key figures in each of the events mentioned above.
As the events unfold we find these four faithful followers of G-D living among a pagan people under the authority of a pagan king. From the very outset of the book, we find the faith and commitment of these men being tested by those around them.
In Daniel 1:5-16, we find the four Israelites rejecting the king’s delicacies and instead choosing to follow the dietary laws found in the Torah. Their faithfulness to G-D’s commandments not only provided health and wellness, but as we read in verse 17, it appears that as a result of their faithfulness, G-D blessed them.
17 Now as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and proficiency in every kind of wisdom and literature, and Daniel could understand all sorts of visions and dreams.
The next test comes in chapter 3 when the king sets up a golden statue and commands everyone to bow down and worship the statue when music would play. The punishment for not worshipping was being cast into a fiery furnace. The response of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah is found in Daniel 3:17-18:
If it is so, our God whom we serve is able to save us from the furnace of blazing fire and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. Yet even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image that you set up.
In Daniel 3:28-29, we read that the result of this faithfulness was that instead of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah worshipping the false golden statue, the king worships the G-D of Israel.
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him! They defied the king’s edict and gave up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I hereby decree that any people, nation or language that says anything slanderous against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego will be torn limb from limb and their house made a pile of rubble, because there is no other god that is able to deliver in this way.”
The next test takes place in Daniel chapter 6 and it is in the details of this test that we find a supernatural resource that Daniel understood. It was the key to his victories and will, if implemented, provide the key to your victories over the spiritual attacks of the adversary.
In Daniel 6:5-10, Daniel’s adversaries have devised an attack against Daniel. They have convinced the king to decree that nobody could pray to any other god or man than the king for 30 days. Rebellion against this decree would result in the guilty being thrown into a den of lions.
In Daniel 6:11, we read both Daniel’s response and the key to his victories.
Now when Daniel learned that a written decree had been issued, he went into his house, where the windows in his upper room opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt down, prayed and gave thanks before his God, just as he did before.
Daniel didn’t simply pray as a result of the decree. His prayer wasn’t a prayer of response of reaction to the actions of the king and those who had come against him. Daniel’s prayer was a continuation of his committed prayer life. In other words, Daniel didn’t change because of what the king did. Daniel refused to change because of what the king did. Daniel, even though he was a slave in a foreign country and was far away from Jerusalem and the Temple of G-D, remained consistent in his service to G-D. He knew that he could not participate in the Temple services and sacrificial system, so he stopped what he was doing at the time of the sacrifices and prayed. In other words, while he could not do everything, he did everything that he could to observe the commandments of G-D.
In other words, Daniel’s prayers kept him in a spiritual connection with the sacrificial system that provided atonement. The deliverance over the enemy’s attack came because of the faithfulness of these four men. They were able to be faithful because, through prayer, they kept in connection with the sacrificial system.
So what does this mean for us today? The truth is that the key is exactly the same. We should be as consistent in our prayer life as Daniel was and for the exact same reasons. If we want to be victorious against our enemy’s attacks, we have to remain connected to Yeshua as our perfect and complete sacrifice.
Daniel wouldn’t even let the threat of a den of lions keep him from praying. Yet, it seems that in our lives, we, without even the threat of lions, willingly surrender the power of dedicated daily prayer connection simply because we are too busy to pray. Then we wonder why it seems we are losing the spiritual battles in our lives and continue to fail when tested. If we can learn to be consistent in our prayer life no matter what, we will find that at the end of every battle and test is victory, just as Daniel’s consistent prayer life brought victory in Daniel Ch. 6, which ends with this proclamation of victory by the king.
Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages dwelling in all the earth: “May your peace be abundant! I issue a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom people are to tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. “For He is the living God, enduring forever! His kingdom will never be destroyed, His dominion will never end. He delivers and rescues. He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions!” So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.