Daniel and Praying Three Times a Day
by Anna Balsamo
Heart Song Worship Center
"Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God." (Daniel 6:10)
In this increasingly immoral world, do you feel like you just don't belong? Maybe your co-workers and neighbors watch television shows and movies that are contrary to what you know is pleasing to God, and many times they do and say things that cause you to gasp in dismay and you think to yourself, "how mean spirited and selfish everyone seems to be???" After a time, do you find their behavior rubbing off on you? After all, who wouldn't be affected by the constant barrage of this world?
In the Old Testament book of Daniel we read that he lived under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar in the Babylonian empire. Daniel was an Israelite who followed the laws God had handed over to Moses. King Nebuchadnezzar did not follow Daniel's God in any way, shape or form, and while captive in Babylon Daniel was asked to do certain things he knew were not pleasing to his God. He did not conform to the requests of his captors to eat foods he knew were forbidden by God, nor did he relent in his desire to continue praying and worshiping with the Lord. Instead we read that he prayed before the Lord three times a day in spite of the fact that he was living in the midst of a difficult regime and very trying circumstances. How many of us can say the same? What do you do when pressed on all sides? Complain to your spouse/friends like everyone else? Mumble under your breath? Do you conform ever so slightly to the behavior of those around you?
Not so with Daniel. Here was a man truly set with his heart on God regardless of the prospect of certain death and many difficulties. He didn't succumb to the requests of a foreign King. He could have. It would have been easier to do that rather than risk the possibility of death, but no, not Daniel. He remained steadfast and firm in his desire to follow the Lord. So how did Daniel remain so sure in his walk? He prayed to his God; our God, three times a day. Not just a quick morning prayer before setting off to work, or an even quicker prayer before sleep. No, he prayed long and hard three times a day.
Why, you may ask? Well I believe he did this because he knew how difficult it would be to resist the opposition and realized he would only find his strength in God. He knew he was just as human as the others who were in captivity and just as prone to sin as they were. He relied on the Lord for the grace to walk in truth and not cave in to the requests of the leaders around him. He probably knew if he didn't pray often, he would be weak and ineffective in his witness as well. He was committed to walk with his God and prayer was where he knew he would gather the strength to continue to be faithful. Daniel had set his heart on following God, and did not care what happened to him if he did. He knew his God was greater than the king, and he would have to answer to Him. The Lord blessed him because of his faithfulness. He spared the life of three of his friends as they entered the fiery furnace and the prospect of a horrible death. He spared Daniel's life as he was thrown into a den filled with hungry lions. He allowed him to prosper under this king and even used Daniel to interpret the king's disturbing dreams. Later on He even gave him visions of the future and end times that have stood the test of time, and all this because Daniel had proved faithful to his God.
You might say we are living much like Daniel did in a Babylonian world. Our leaders are not followers of the Lord Our God, and much of society, in fact almost all of it, walks to the beat of their own drums with neither care nor concern for the God who made them. Many profess to be Christians, but their lives show no fruit, and they are just as carnal as the next person. For the faithful followers of Christ, it is like living in Babylon, wouldn't you say? Christian author Joyce Meyer has said, "There is a war going on between culture and Christianity. We have to have standards and lines must be drawn in our lives." How do we do that? How can we remain steadfast and "strong in the Lord"? (Ephesians 6:10) We can look to the example of Daniel's life and pray to be more like him. We can pray as if we mean business - making it a priority in our lives along with studying the Word and worshiping along with other believers, because "to the faithful He shows Himself faithful." (Psalm 18:25)
So instead of plopping yourself in front of the television after dinner, and making excuses for your lack of time with the Lord, make every effort to put Him first, and keep at it. "Seek Him first and all these things shall be added to you as well." (Matthew 6:33) It won't always be easy. Remember it wasn't easy for Daniel either. "But the Lord is the rewarder of all who diligently seek Him." (Hebrew 11:6)
As you seek Him, He will bless you as He did Daniel in ways you couldn't imagine. But most of all, He will bless you with His presence; His peace. Isn't it worth it? Aren't you tired of living a mediocre life? Don't you want to be all the Lord wants you to be and "shine His light" wherever you go? This can only occur if we invest our time like Daniel did - in the pursuit of God. Come on - let's stand out in a Babylonian world and be all He wants us to be!