Daniel 6:10 But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.
Yesterday morning at church, I was reminded of the story of Daniel and the lions’ den. Oh I know that this is an old familiar story, but it is still one that should be revisited from time to time. Our pastor pointed out three positives to remember during times of persecution, which included the reason, the reaction, and the result of persecution. You may or may not be feeling the weight of persecution at this moment, but if you are serving God faithfully, sooner or later you will. If we live for Christ, and we long to follow Christ more than the world, we will be persecuted. The thing we have to remember is when we remain in Christ, He remains in us, and nothing or no one can snatch us away from Him.
How should we react when we are being persecuted? Let us take a few moments to look at Daniel so that we may glean some knowledge from his actions. The administrators and officials didn’t like Daniel. They didn’t like that he held a position of authority in the kingdom. They had tried to find fault in him and were constantly looking for evidence to give to the king that would bring Daniel down a notch or two, but they found Daniel faultless. They soon realized that the only way they would be able to get Daniel into trouble would be using his worship for his God against him. So these guys hatched up a plot, and they brought it to King Darius. They told him to give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions. (Daniel 6:7) The king agreed, and signed this into law. Daniel knew about the new law, but what did he do? He kept on doing what he always did. But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. He kept on praying, y’all! The result of Daniel’s persecution was courage and commitment. Daniel’s courage to continue to pray caught the attention of many, and his commitment to prayer caused many to praise God.
God opens our eyes to different things every time we open His Word. The Bible is definitely active and alive. My biggest take away this time was the fact that no matter what we are going through, the situation doesn’t change who we are in Christ. We must keep on praying. Keep on getting down on those knees and worshipping and praising our Savior. Daniel didn’t sway from his normal routine. It was his routine to go to his room, kneel by the window facing Jerusalem, and pray three times a day. When he was told that he could no longer do this, he didn’t go hide in a closet. He didn’t scream and shout in rebellion. He didn’t cause a scene and pick a fight on social media. He simply continued doing what he always did. He prayed.
We tend to get caught up in the lions’ den part of the story, and we tend to overlook the praying by the window part. Daniel gave us a great example of what to do whether we are enjoying good times or bad, peace or persecution. His daily routine was to pray to God three times a day every day, and even when he was told that he could not do this any longer, he prayed. We have to have faith in the Father in all situations. In Sunday School yesterday these words struck me: “Faith guarantees nothing but what is beyond this life…the hereafter.” We are going to have trials. We may even suffer persecution. Having great faith doesn’t mean that we will escape any of these things, but folks, we aren’t living for the here and now. We are living for eternity. This is not our home. We are just passing through. If you want to make a difference in this world, your employment, your school, your church, and your family, then you must keep on praying!