Daniel: Life in Babylon, Part 7

Do your prayers make a difference?

I have been following the adventures of Daniel and gleaning insights from his godly example. Daniel is in Babylon working and living within a world system where God is not honored and sin flourishes. We live in such a world system as well. Daniel has shown us how to learn, live and lead in the world but not of the world


The heroics of Daniel are well known to us. With principled faith, his resolute character refused to eat the food and drink the wine of the king. God used this experience to strengthen his faith and influence others. Many years later, Daniel’s faith also led him to continue to pray earnestly to God despite a national prohibition to pray. The prohibition was set up by men who sought to have Daniel thrown into a lion’s den. He not only survived the Lion’s Den but the event led to the demise of his enemies and to the king acknowledging the amazing God of Daniel.  


Daniel lived approximately sixty years in Babylon, serving under several kings and empires. His godly influence over the earthly kings he served and over many others, was perhaps unparalleled in scripture. One of those kings, Nebuchadnezzar, ultimately fell on his face and acknowledged the God of Israel as the true God of the universe and he personally experienced the saving power of God. 


How did Daniel Become Daniel? 


How did Daniel become such a man? For six decades, he influenced world leaders and pagan nations toward the true God of Israel. Daniel didn’t just fall out of a tree and become the influential man of God he was. He wasn’t just born that way. His faith was forged through devoted time with God and his courage refined with the fire of trials and challenges. All the public notoriety of courage, faith and fortitude was born out of intimate times of devotion, alone with God. 


He who stands courageously tall among men must first kneel in humility before God. 


Christians, what is the state of your personal time alone with God? 


Daniel 9 provides a detailed look into the devotional life of Daniel.  


  • In verses 2 and 13 we see that He began by studying the scriptures, (Jeremiah and Books of Moses).  
  • He then gave attention to seeking God in prayer, supplication and fasting. He prayed, confessed and praised God while reciting many of His attributes.  


So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, ‘alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and loving kindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,’ verses 3,4.  


  • He was very specific in his confession of sins of his people, verses 5-15.  
  • Finally, he appealed for forgiveness and grace, petition and supplication, verses 16-19.  


And now, O Lord our God … we have sinned, we have been wicked. O Lord, in accordance with all your righteous acts, let Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain … So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for Your sake, O Lord, let your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary. O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see … verses 15-18. 


Wow, what an example of the private devotional life of a man of God. The crescendo comes in Verse 19 when Daniel prays, 


O Lord hear! Forgive! Listen and take action! For your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people are called by Your name. 


In one sense, Daniel’s time with God reveals a unique experience of a chosen prophet of God in history-past. As a prophet, God uniquely uses him to reveal God’s plan for the future of Israel. But in a more practical, applicable manner, Daniel’s actions of prayer and seeking God are a supreme example for all believers to transcend our routine and rote prayers toward a passionate, intense and even fierce encounter with God.


Learning Alert: Daniel devoted himself to two key principles of devotional time with God: Set your heart to understand God’s Word and secondly, humble yourself before Him in confession, prayer and supplications, asking for great and mighty things, for God’s glory. 


Oh God, may I seek you with the intensity and passion of Daniel. May I boldly approach your throne of grace as he did. May I call upon You to do great and wondrous things! Lord, I need You; my family needs You; my readers need you; our nation needs You! For Your sake and Your honor, wipe away our sins and cause Your light to shine through us. Amen!