Summary: The blessing of being in the inner chamber of God’s Presence through prayer.
The Experience of Daniel
Text: Daniel 6
A. Why is prayer essential? We have learned four points in our last lesson about the essentiality of prayer.
1. Prayer will draw us near to God;
2. Prayer will allow us to experience God’s Power;
3. Prayer will unlock the storehouse of God’s blessings;
4. Prayer is one of our spiritual weapons against the archenemy of our souls, the devil.
T.S. Let’s study the experience of Daniel and see some important principles of prayer
through his example.
1. Daniel, though a Babylonian captive, was chosen by the king of Medo-Persian Empire to be one of the important administrators of the kingdom.
2. But his co-administrators were envious to know that the king most favored Daniel than them.
3. They then plotted to eliminate Daniel. Since Daniel was faithful and diligent to his responsibilities, they were not able to find any ground to accuse him (v.4).
4. One day, together they went to the king and cunningly persuaded him to sign a decree forbidding everyone in the kingdom to pray to any god within a period of three months. And anyone violating the decree will be cast to the Lion’s den.
5. They knew Daniel very well. They knew that Daniel prayed to his God three times a day. And they were so confident that their plot would succeed. Daniel would surely be convicted this time.
6. When Daniel heard the news, he went home. What was his reaction? Was he afraid? Did he hide dreadful? No! He opened the windows facing Jerusalem, knelt down and as his custom, prayed to his God.
Why was Daniel not afraid of death? Why did he allow himself to be in jeopardy by praying? What made him so brave and so confident in facing this great danger of his life?
There is only one answer for this: Daniel was prepared to face this great challenge of his life and faith because he was in constant communion with God through prayer. His communion with God:
a. Guarantees him of God’s abiding Presence.
· Daniel was strengthened by the fact that God was with him; he felt the very Presence of God. He’s never fearful but peaceful.
· Brave people are those who are not afraid to face death, not because they are fearless, but because they have great peace within their hearts.
· Read church history books and you will find many, in fact millions, of brave men and women of the church. These people went through a torturous death. But they died with serene spirits and having joyful faces, because they felt God was with them all the way to their death. They were not afraid because of the assuring presence of God.
· David also said: ”Though I walk through the valley of the shadows of death I fear no evil for Thou art with me.”
· Is God’s presence real to you? Do you feel God’s assuring presence being with you? How would describe your walk with God now? Can you honestly say “Yes I’m enjoying an intimate relationship with God?” If you feel your answer is no, then something is wrong with your spiritual. If you feel you can honestly say yes, then you can sing, “Because He lives I can face tomorrow, because He’s with me all fear is gone.”
· The presence of God gives strength; it gives peace and security. David said: “God is my Light and my salvation; of whom I shall be afraid?”(Ps.27: 1)
· But how to make God’s presence more real to us? Constant communion with Him through prayer is the answer. It makes the presence of God more real and sensibly experiential.
b. Establishes his proper orientation of God.
· He was deeply convinced that his God is able to deliver him from the mouths of the lions. Why was Daniel so confident? Because he is well oriented of the God whom he served. He knew God well. How? Daniel gained sound orientation and proper perspective on God not only by saturating his mind with God’s word, but also by re-enforcing it with meditation and prayer. Because of his constant communion with God through prayer, his orientation of God was well established and maintained. So Daniel was no longer intimidated of the threat because he was well oriented and deeply convinced of his God’s ability to save.
· In like manner, when facing adverse circumstances like Daniel or Job, your perspective on God is vital. What you know about God will determine how you handle and how you react to your circumstances.
· How much do you know God? Are you confident that the God you know is able to help you? Can you honestly testify that your God is “a very present help in times of troubles?” Can you say with confidence that your God is your “shelter, refuge, strong tower, and shield?” It all depends on how much you know about Him?