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“May your God, who you serve continually, rescue you!” - Daniel 6:16
If anyone needed help in time of trouble, it was Daniel. This verse finds him sentenced to a pit of lions for praying to and worshiping God (Daniel 6:13-18). The administrators set to serve under the current reign of King Darius were bent on removing Daniel from his seat. Daniel had found favor with King Nebuchadnezzar and King Belshazzar prior to King Darius’ reign through his interpretation of dreams and godly wisdom.
So, they convinced the king to “issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thrifty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions den” (Daniel 6:7). The king, not realizing that the “royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed …”(6:7) did not include Daniel, agreed.
The rest is history. We read in Daniel 6 the infamous story of Daniel’s bravery in the face of his choice to worship the Lord over the law (6: 10). The king, distraught over the decree he was tricked into issuing (Daniel 6:14), nevertheless sealed Daniel into the lion’s den (v. 17). Unable to eat or sleep (v. 18), the king rushed to the den at dawn. “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” (vv. 19-20)
“My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions,” came Daniel’s reply from the den.
The decree was reversed, requiring all in the land to worship God, and those who had conspired against Daniel were themselves tossed into the lion’s den.
When we are pressed up against troubling times, let us look to Daniel’s example of how to gather strength in times of distress. Turning to God for justice and answers was not new territory for Daniel. It was habit. He prayed habitually. He looked to the Lord routinely.
If we establish a daily habit of turning to God in our lives, it’s more likely to be our immediate reaction in times of trouble. There is no way around spending time with God: we must have a relationship with Him in order to experience His peace. We must spend time in the Word. We must spend time in prayer. Pausing to look at our current situation in the light of His perspective is the essential path to taking hold of His peace.
Christ died to give us full access to our great God. We can look to His Word, look up to Him in prayer, and embrace the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us. The societal misconception is that we possess the strength to pull ourselves out of trouble. But if we rely on our own strength, we’ll surely fail. It’s His strength that makes our salvation possible. Walking with Christ isn’t about striving for perfection, but straining towards submission.
We praise You for Daniel’s life and legacy, that we are able to read and study his life here today. Thank you for the glimpse you give us of his powerfully prophetic life. Thank you for this book of Scripture and how we can see Christ in it. Like Daniel, we know Jesus faithfully endured the punishment for obedience to you. But unlike Daniel, you did not spare him from the “mouth of the lions.” You let Your Son die a brutal death on the Cross, paying the penalty for our sins, and through his resurrection You’ve given us eternal life and access to Your glory. Oh Lord – thank You!
In every situation in our lives, may we remember that You are sovereign over all. Justice rightfully sits in Your hands, not ours. You are bigger. You are in control. You are omnipotent – all-present in times of trouble. Just like Daniel, we can trust You with our lives. It’s Your purpose that puts our feet on earth.
May every trial we go through in this life bring us closer to You. Our prayer today is for our enemies, our conspirators, and our foes. We are all imperfect, and You love us all equally. Help us to leave justice at Your feet, seeking peace and the Spirit’s sensitivity before lifting the gate on our emotions.
Protect our hearts from bitterness and suspicions, comparison and insecurity. Teach us to be confident in You, alone. Right our hearts to place You at the helm. Bless our minds to run to You for solutions to problems that put our backs up against walls. Help us to resist gossip and slander, blame and unnecessary attacks on the character of others.
May the story of Your angel, who shut the mouths of the lions, help us to remember Your power and promise. When we are in trouble, help us to remember the cross. In the direst situation of all, Christ conquered death.
In a quickly crumbling world, let us be shards of light. May we be peacekeepers, and extensions of Your love. We’re not promised this world will be easy or fair, but You guarantee Your presence and Your love. Grant us courage to stick to Your standards. You are good, all the time.
In Jesus’ Name,
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
Meg Bucher (Megs) encourages others to seek Him first through her life as a stay-at-home mom, career as a freelance writer, teaching Emoti-moms Weekly Bible Study, and leading the kids worship teams at her local church. She resides in a small, Northern lake town with her husband of ten years, two daughters, and their Golden-doodle. Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ on her blog, http://sunnyand80.org.
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