Prayer tip: Daniel and the lion’s den
Daniel 6:16-23,25-27 (NRSV)
16 Then the king gave the order, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the lion’s den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve faithfully, deliver you! 17 A stone was brought and set at the entrance of the pit, and the king sealed it with his seal and the seal of his lords, that nothing should be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and slept fasting; no food was brought to him and sleep eluded him.
19 At daybreak the king arose and rushed to the lion’s den. 20 When he approached the pit where Daniel was, he cried anxiously to Daniel: ‘O Daniel, servant of the living God, your God, whom you serve faithfully, was he able to deliver you from the lions? 21 Daniel then said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God has sent his angel and shut the mouths of the lions so that they do not harm me, because I have been found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong. 23 Then the king was extremely happy and ordered Daniel to be brought out of the pit. Then Daniel came out of the pit, and no evil was found upon him, because he had put his trust in his God.
25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples and all the nations of all the languages of the whole world: “May you have abundant prosperity! 26 I decree that throughout my royal kingdom people shall tremble and fear before the God of Daniel:
For he is the living God,
His kingdom will never be destroyed,
and his dominion has no end.
27 He delivers and delivers,
he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth;
for he saved Daniel from the power of the lions.’
by Chris Holliday, Pastor of Resurrection West Connection & Care and Director of Adult Discipleship
I believe that God does not cause bad things. I believe that God gives us agency. I believe that God generally works through people, especially those who follow the ways of love and who listen and respond to God’s promptings. These beliefs shape and sometimes challenge my faith and my prayer life.
When I read today’s Bible passage, I immediately notice that there is no one acting on behalf of God in the lion’s den. There are those who exercise their agency to conspire against Daniel. There are those who throw it into the pit and place the stone. There is King Darius who supports Daniel. But no one saves him – God does. Daniel said, “My God sent his angel and shut the mouths of the lions so that they wouldn’t hurt me.” God intervenes directly.
Sometimes, in the midst of my beliefs, I forget the power of God “nothing is impossible”. You know, the One who created the universe; who can move mountains; who conquered death and offers us eternal life. I need to remember THAT God – the creative, sustaining, omnipresent, omnipotent and unbelievably awesome God! I must recognize that our Creator is working all the time and in many different ways to love us, protect us, and save us. I need to trust.
As we pray today, I invite all of us to recognize the power of God and to trust God to act in the way God sees fit. May we trust God to help bring out the good in all things. May we trust God to deliver and save. May we trust God to open a way when there seems to be none. May we trust in the power and goodness of Him who created us and loves us, and may this trust guide our prayers.
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