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.
Lesson on Faithfulness
The king of Persia issued a decree: “Pray only to the king for thirty days or face the lions.” The prophet Daniel’s day job was to serve as a high ranking official in the Persian government. And he was great at this job. So good that the king wanted to promote him to second in command. But Daniel had jealous enemies who wanted to get rid of him. So, they convinced the king to pass the decree.
Daniel’s enemies knew Daniel well. And if there was anything they could count on Daniel doing, it was praying to God and worshipping him. His enemies would use that faithfulness against Daniel. They set their trap and waited. Daniel learned about the decree. He knew the stakes and understood the consequences. And just as he had always done before, Daniel got down on his knees and prayed.
The content of the prayer was similar to the prayers Daniel regularly spoke to God, a prayer giving thanks. It wasn’t a prayer of panic for what might happen to him. It wasn’t a grumbled complaint about how unfair the whole situation was. Daniel prayed his thanks to God even though he knew he would be thrown to the lions for it.
Followers of the true God still sometimes pay a price for their faithfulness. In some parts of the world, Christians pay with their lives, property, or freedom. But for many other Christians, the persecutions are more subtle.
The Christian who prioritizes worship like Daniel might get passed over for promotion. The Christian who refuses to join the gossip might lose friends. The Christian—who follows the moral law of God—might be marginalized by society.
Like Daniel, faithful Christians trust that their God is always faithful to them. Christians know that in the face of persecution, God will not forsake them or leave them.
Heavenly Father, like Daniel, I kneel before you as the King of kings. Through Jesus, you have brought me grace and salvation. Keep me faithful to you always. Amen.