Daniel is largely known because of some of the outrageous stories that are a part of his life: As an interpreter of dreams, his den of lion’s experience, his connection with Shadrach, Mechach, and Abednego. But it was really what Daniel did behind the headlines that made him the man that he was.
In Daniel 9 and 10 we learn a few things that give us insight into Daniel.
In 9:2 we read, “in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given by Jeremiah the prophet…” So we know that Daniel was a man who read and studied the Word of God. It was this discipline that fueled his ministry, strengthened his faith, and transformed his life. It is this discipline that will do the same for us as we regularly become a student of the Word.
One of the outcomes of a life that prioritizes God’s Word is a healthy, vibrant, bold prayer life.
In 9:4-19 we get to overhear a prayer that Daniel prays. Whenever I read prayers in Scripture I am usually struck by how different they sound from my prayers and the prayers I hear most people pray. You will note when you read his prayer several things:
- His absolute dependence on God
- His overwhelming confidence in God
- His incredible awe of God
- His humble confession to God
- His repentant spirit towards God
- His bold requests of God
It is evident from this prayer that Daniel is a man who knew God and was not unfamiliar with being in His presence.
In 10:12, we read what an angel of the Lord says to Daniel… “Do not be afraid Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard…”
If you ever want to deepen your prayer life and know that your prayers are being heard, and not just stopping at the ceiling, then ponder this verse. And read Daniel 10 carefully for an example of what it means to be humble before God.
Daniel’s boldness in public life flowed out of his humility before God in private. Perhaps this is something we should take to heart.