when daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward jerusalem. he got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. [daniel 6:10]
the document had been signed
the law was not in daniel’s favor. this man who had seen so much change over a lifetime now saw his faith under fire. the document that had been signed set it into law that prayer to God was illegal. there was surely a workaround here, a loophole, a way to hide prayer. after all, it could have been easy just to ‘go along and get along’ and skip praying openly for a few weeks. right?
as he had done previously
daniel went on as if this decree had never happened. he had nothing to hide, and he knew the importance of prayer. it was this time with God that had given him strength all these years.
perhaps others had forgotten where his divine wisdom really came from.
but daniel never once did forget.
it is important to note that daniel wasn’t praying in rebellion against the document. he wasn’t trying to make a point. he was just doing what he had done every day for the last several decades.
prayer was not just something to do before meals or at church. It was not just a symbolic practice or last resort. prayer was his lifeline to a creator that he knew, loved, and had regular communication with. prayer was not a ritual so much as it was his lifeline to the Lord.
why did daniel pray towards jerusalem? to daniel, jerusalem represented the land of promise. jerusalem was where God had placed his temple, the place where david reuled as king, and where daniel prayed his people would someday return. After all these years as a faithful servant in babylon, daniel honored the kings that reigned in the land, and had served them well. yet in his heart daniel never forgot who he was, where he was from, or whose he was.
we cannot underestimate how important prayer was to daniel. daniel had no desire to break any law, but could not change who he was or how he communed with the God who had been in relationship with him his whole life. may we also live a life of fervent prayer.
~ jason soroski