Summary: A sermon about the impact of a praying man.
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
Introduction: To set the stage for the message today let me say that it is more difficult today to live a Christian life that it ever has been as far as I'm concerned. We are living in a cultural atmosphere that is increasing toxic and intolerant of the Christian faith. Make no mistake our culture doesn't a mind a weak, watered down, worthless religion but it does mind a strong, vibrant, active faith that expresses itself in strong convictions and straight conduct. Daniel had lived in a foreign culture for many years...65 as prime minister under several different kings...that was not friendly to people of faith. We can learn much from the way he handled himself that we can use today. Most of us are familiar with the narrative of Daniel in the lion's den. Today I want to share some thoughts about his life and experience. First:
I. The Character of a Man of Prayer
a. Daniel's enemies recognized the excellence of his character v. 3
Before you and I can talk about someone's conduct we need to examine their character. Daniel was a man of character and believe me that was just as difficult in his day as it is in ours. "Someone has said that reputation is what men say about you and character is what you are when you are alone." Even these pagans recognized the excellence of Daniel's character. Even they could see that there was something different about him. They didn't like it but they could see the difference! I hope that is true of you and I. Folks may not like what they see that makes us different but at least they can see that we are different!
b. Daniel's enemies could not find fault with his conduct v. 4
There is a word in the Bible that is used to describe the kind of conduct we should have. It is the word "blameless," which means to be free from censure or simply put, not chargeable by anyone.
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
The believer is called to live in such a way as to attain the quality of blamelessness. In these cases, it is evident that blamelessness refers to public respectability as an outgrowth of private moral character. Christians must "make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him" (2 Peter 3:14). By growing in discernment and avoiding a critical spirit, believers can become "pure and blameless" in an age marked by wickedness (Php 1:10 ; 2:14-15 ).
c. Daniel's enemies saw his faith as his weakness v. 5
What we would see as a strength Daniel's enemies saw as his only area of weakness! Amazing isn't it that the world has this opinion.
II. The Challenges for a Man of Prayer
a. Daniel faced pressure from the culture
Like ours, Daniel's culture was not neutral or tolerant but openly antagonistic towards people of faith. Daniel's enemies were using the legal system to attack him personally through his faith. Notice what we read in verses 6-9:
Daniel 6:6 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live forever. 7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. 9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
They weren't out to just hurt him or harm him, they were out to destroy him!
b. Daniel faced the pressure to compromise
Daniel practiced his faith openly without apology. Notice in verse 10 it says "...his windows being open..." Today our culture wants the Christian to keep his faith within the "four walls of the church," but by the very nature of our calling we cannot do this. To compromise is to deny our Lord. Remember that He said that if we deny Him he will deny us and that if we are ashamed of Him he will be ashamed of us?