Daniel, a Man of Prayer (Part 1)
Over 500 years before Christ walked this earth, the prophet Daniel was born as a Hebrew. He was taken captive as a youth by the Babylonians and was recognized very early on as one who possessed great wisdom, ability, and integrity. As the Babylonian empire fell, the Medes and the Persians took over. Daniel not only survived this significant change but continued to thrive under King Darius.

Daniel 6:1-9 reads:

"It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. Then these men said, 'We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.' So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: 'King Darius, live forever! All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.' Therefore King Darius signed the written decree."

Darius had divided up the government of his kingdom and set 120 satraps over it (i.e., administrators who had authority over assigned territories). These 120 would answer to 3 governors, of whom Daniel was one. However, because Daniel excelled the others, probably in ability as well as integrity, Darius was about to set him over the entire operation. Other than Darius himself, no human would have more power or authority than Daniel. These other leaders, likely because of envy, began trying to find some fault in Daniel. Perhaps they had him investigated, not to determine his fitness but to dig up some dirt on him. Or maybe they already knew him quite well. In either case, they had nothing they could use against him regarding his work as governor. That is quite a word of praise! Daniel had no skeletons in his closet. Daniel had risen to great power in two administrations, and he had done it without compromising his ethics! What a great example; though I'm left wondering: How many politicians today are "clean" like Daniel, having nothing wicked or unethical to hide? Furthermore, these men concluded that if they were to accuse Daniel of any wrongdoing, it would have to be related to his religion, for they knew of his devotion. If they were to find any wrong in him, it would be by making faithfulness to his God wrong, for they know he would be faithful to Jehovah no matter what. This, too, is an indirect compliment.

The other governors and satraps approached King Darius with this proposal: For thirty days no man shall be permitted to ask a petition of any god or man, except of the king. Whoever is found in violation of this decree will be cast into the den of lions. The king established the decree, and made it official by affixing his signature to it.

With that background in mind, we want to closely examine Daniel 6:10 in our next lesson for some beautiful instruction on prayer.