so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.Daniel 2:18(NASB)
Prayer is one of the most important tools in the armoury of the righteous man, and the prophet Daniel is a wonderful example of a man of prayer. But if prayer is to be effective, it should come from a heart that is humble before the Lord, dependent upon Him, and ready to recognise that there is an ongoing need to approach the throne of grace in good times as well as in days of difficulty and danger.
Prayer should not only be a daily habit that delights the soul, but it should be the first thing to which we turn when we find ourselves facing insurmountable problems and impossible situations. Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, were men who discovered the importance of prayer at an early age. They took time every day, to come before the Lord to worship Him. They presented their daily requests to Him, and honoured Him in their actions and attitudes.
When Jerusalem fell, Daniel and his friend had been exiled to Babylon. Because of their noble birth, they were chosen to be trained in the Babylonian culture and wisdom. The day came when all the wise men of Babylon were presented with an impossible problem - they were commanded by King Nebuchadnezzar to tell him the content of a disturbing dream he had, and to explain its meaning. Without knowing the dream, it was impossible for any man to give an interpretation of it. As a result, the king became violently angry with his advisors, which caused him to order the destruction of every wise man in Babylon - which would include Daniel and his three friends.
Whether or not the king remembered his dream is unclear, but the terrible death sentence remained. Daniel, however, was wise as well prayerful, and calmly requested a little more time to provide an answer for the king, "so that he might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery - so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon."
Daniel did not try to plead for his life or declare that the request was unfair, unrealistic, or impossible. He did not attempt to flatter the king into changing his mind, nor did he question the king's sanity in giving this crazy command. He did not sink into deep despair or rush around in anxiety. Daniel simply went to his house, explained the situation to his three companions, and asked them to join him in prayer to the Lord, concerning the secret of the dream, so that they would not be killed along with the rest of the wise men and courtiers of the king.
Daniel was a man who made a practice of praying to the Lord three times a day. He knew there was a God in heaven Who created all things and Who knows all things. Daniel knew the Scriptures and had read in Deuteronomy that all the secret things belong to the Lord, but there are things that He chooses to reveal to whomsoever He will. Daniel believed that God was able to reveal profound and hidden things. He believed that God knows all that is hidden in the darkness, because God is light, and light dwells within Him.
Daniel's calm and wise action, when faced with this life threatening situation and the wise way he dealt with this serious crisis in Babylon was a demonstration of his character, and a testimony to his unwavering faith in God. Too often when we are faced with distressing situations and insurmountable problems, we try to sort them out before eventually turning to the Lord in prayer.
Daniel, however, demonstrated the right way to behave and taught us the first thing that should always be done - take the problem to the Lord in prayer and trust Him to fulfil His Word. As members of Christ's Body, we have been graced with access into the throne-room of the Almighty, for mercy to find help in time of need. How important to pray about troubles and trials immediately and not allow them to fester in our heart or cause them to distress our soul.
Jesus told us to cast ALL our cares upon Him and to lay all of our burdens down at His feet. May we take to heart Christ's important instructions and follow the wise acts of Daniel and his three friends and pray FIRST, no matter what situations may challenge us.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You are a God Who hears and answers the prayers and petitions of Your people. Help me to cast all my cares on You and to bring all my problems and difficulties to You immediately, no matter how large or small they may be. Help me to always turn to You FIRST when I am faced with tough problems, just like Daniel and his three friends. Thank You that nothing is too difficult for You to deal with, and I pray that I would ALWAYS turn to you first, rather than trying to sort things out on my own. Thank You for being such a faithful God. This I pray in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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