Summary: God wanted Daniel in the lion's den and rewarded him for his faithfulness. Daniel believed prayer was more important than his work. He cared more about what God thought than what people did.
SECRET POWER 0F PRAYER
A. HUMOR: During a recent ecumenical gathering (meeting of many different denominations), a secretary rushed into the meeting shouting, “The building is on fire!"
1. The Methodists discussed sprinkling it out.
2. The Baptists said a river was necessary.
3. The Quakers quietly praised God for the blessings that fire brings.
4. The Jews posted symbols on the doors, hoping the fire would pass.
5. The Congregationalists shouted, "Every man for himself!"
6. The Calvinists said it was the will of God.
7. The Christian Scientists concluded there was no fire.
8. The Presbyterians appointed a committee to study the matter.
9. And the secretary grabbed the fire extinguisher & put the fire out.
B. WANTED: MEN/ WOMEN OF GOD (COURAGE)
God needs men/women of courage and guts in this hour, who will stand up against ungodliness in all its forms and declare the truth fearlessly, whatever the outcome might be. God needs men like Daniel who are fearless. Notice:
1. Daniel 2 -- The Chaldeans, magicians and the astrologers could not tell King Nebuchadnezzar his dream or the interpretation. They were all troubled. But Daniel touched heaven and brought back the answer and stood before the king.
2. Daniel 4 -- Later, with dauntless courage, Daniel interprets a dream of rebuke (Tree cut down) to the King, who might have killed him; "You, O King, shall be driven from among men, and eat grass like an ox and your body shall be wet with the dew of heaven, until your hair has grown... etc.
3. Daniel 5 -- Later, in terrible grandeur, Daniel came forth again on the last night of Belshazzar's reign (Hand writing on the wall), proclaiming the message of doom to the drunken King; "You are weighed in the balances and found lacking. Your reign is coming to an end; Your kingdom will be divided between the Medes and the Persians." Belshazzer died that night.
4. Daniel 6 -- Daniel's courage and consecration to God were tested. His character was tested. Would he obey & honor God or become "lion-chow?"
C. TEXT & TITLE
1 It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, 2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. 3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
6 So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! 7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. 8 Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” 9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.
10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” Daniel 6:1-10.
TITLE: THE SECRET POWER OF PRAYER
I. PRAYER: THE SECRET OF DANIEL’S POWER
What made him so great before people? It's because he was great before his God – in prayer! Daniel was a “man of prayer.”
A. HE WENT TO HIS HOUSE TO PRAY
1. Though he was virtually Prime Minister, and extremely busy in the affairs of state, he still kept the habit of going to his house to pray 3x a day.
2. This showed a). How important prayer was to him, b). That his best praying was done in secret (prayer closet), and c). That Daniel considered prayer more important than all other business, since he interrupted his business, but not his prayers.
B. HABIT – PRAY 3X A DAY
1. Many believers pray morning and evening, but he prayed afternoons too.
2. We think we're too busy to pray three times or three hours a day, but he was set over an entire empire and must have felt he could not do his job without three hours of prayer!