When most people think of the book of Daniel, they think about the visions and dreams Daniel and others had, the lions’ den Daniel was thrown into, the statue from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and the prophecies fulfilled. Many miss the powerful message of prayer. Daniel had a passionate prayer life. Those looking for pray life-changing prayers can look to Daniel. Discover how to pray like Daniel for yourself, your family, your community, and your nation.
It’s time to wage warfare through prayer, as Daniel did.
A Deep Dive into Daniel
Daniel’s story is found in the book of the Bible he penned (see Daniel 8:1; 9:2, 10:2), which has his name as the title. The book begins with the siege of Babylon on Jerusalem, the city's collapse, and the subsequent deportation into exile for the people of Israel. As was customary at that time, the conqueror would take some of the nobles from the conquered lands, train them and press them into service in his courts.
This is exactly what Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, did by choosing four young men. They are Shadrach, Meshach, Daniel, and Abednego. In the king's service, Daniel and the three young men would provide counsel and interpretations for the king's dreams and visions. The king himself preferred Daniel’s services in comparison to the other members of the court.
It was during this time in service that the famous “writing on the wall” event happened (see Daniel 5). The then king, Belshazzar (Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson), had defiled utensils brought from the Temple in Jerusalem. Suddenly, a hand appeared and wrote on the wall while the king watched in horror. In response, he looked far and wide for interpreters, but no one else in the kingdom could interpret the writing until the king called for Daniel.
Through God's Spirit, Daniel was able to give an accurate interpretation. The king then made Daniel the third-highest ruler in the kingdom. Daniel's exceptional and godly qualities brought him great favor with the kings and subordinates and drew him closer to God. It also put him in trouble with his colleagues. This resulted in him being thrown into the lions’ den.
What Was Daniel's Prayer in Daniel 9?
Daniel was revered as a man of God, and it is already established that he was a committed man of prayer, as illustrated in Daniel 2:17-18. Daniel further demonstrates his commitment to a prayer life during the events of Daniel chapter 6. Due to the envy of the people around him, Daniel is thrown into the lions’ den. However, God works to keep him safe, and he comes out unscathed.
When it comes to Chapter 9, it is evident to Daniel that the people of Israel are at an important juncture in history. As a learned man, he studied Jeremiah's prophecies. He thus recognized that the 70 years of captivity for the people of Israel that Jeremiah had written off was about to begin. As a man who loved his people, Daniel took it upon himself to intervene and pray to God.
Thus, with fasting, donning sackcloth, and in ashes, Daniel made a life-changing prayer to God, starting from verse 3. Daniel interceded for the people of Israel and repented to the Lord for them. He pleaded with God to forgive his people to avoid the period of difficulty that was to come.
5 Ways to Pray Like Daniel
Daniel is one of the best role models in the Bible. Though he was a noble and accomplished man, he never carried himself with the arrogance that many of his statures would have, including kings. It is his very nature that helped fuel the prayer life he had.
Here are 5 ways to pray like Daniel.
- Pray to believe: Jesus says all things are possible to those who believe in Mark 9:23. Pray believing that God hears your prayers, and you will receive an answer. It starts with simple prayers, but the key is to believe God hears them and will move according to His will.
- Pray without ceasing: Luke 18:1-8 illustrates the story of a woman who prayed for justice from a stubborn judge until he relented and gave her that justice, even though he hated God. How much more, then, would God be able to give you? Life changes when you pray without ceasing.
- Confess your sins: Daniel took his time confessing his and his people's sins. Confessing is part of repentance.
- Be humble: Daniel 10:12 brings up that Daniel humbled himself before God. James 4:7 mentions by staying humble and resisting the devil, he will flee. Humble yourself before God, and He will exalt you in HIs time (see Luke 14:11).
- Stand firm in faith: The devil's attack on Daniel was to cause him to stop praying or feed him to the lions. While the devil did try, Daniel kept the faith, and God stood with him.
A Summary to Pray Like Daniel
Although he may have lived a privileged life compared to other Israelites at the time, Daniel's situation was still precarious, as illustrated by the saga at the lions' den. He had a lot of spiritual warfare to deal with. As a learned man, Daniel knew it was upon him to help chart a path forward and reveal God’s plan. He served the nation he'd been exiled to and interceded for his own nation.
Daniel's prayer life helped change his life and impacted the people around him. His prayers set the stage for the redemption of his nation. You can follow Daniel’s example and begin interceding for others too. It starts by fighting for God’s plan to be fulfilled in unceasing prayer. Whether it's a fresh start you are looking for or a way out of a tough situation, begin the journey by going on your knees and making that prayer.
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