Introduction: Daniel was a prophet of God who lived about 500 to 600 years before Jesus. When he was quite young, he and his friends were captured by the Babylonians and taken away from their homes in order to work for the king of Babylon. Living in a new place with a different language, their names were even changed. In Babylon, Daniel’s name was changed to Belteshazzar; Hananiah became Shadrach; Mishael became Meshach; and Azariah became Abednego. While going through all of these changes would have been difficult, Daniel and his friends continued living for and obeying God in the foreign land of Babylon.
Read Daniel 1:8-17
Devotional: Daniel was young when he was taken from home, and he would grow old in this foreign land. In Daniel’s lifetime, the kingdom of Babylon was replaced by the kingdom of Persia and its leader, Darius. Daniel continued serving Darius just as he had served the kings of Babylon. In Daniel chapter 6, however, we find that Darius made an usual law. At the request of other leaders in his kingdom, he made it illegal for anyone to pray to God. If anyone was caught praying, that person would then be thrown into a den of lions! Knowing this new law was now in place, the old man Daniel had a decision to make for himself — “Do I keep praying or do I stop?”
Read Daniel 6:10
DISCUSSION: What would you have done if you were Daniel?
As you see, the new law did not stop Daniel from praying. While living in a foreign land would have been difficult in some ways for Daniel, he was always someone who gave thanks to God. But just as Darius’s new law said, Daniel was going to be thrown into a den of lions because he kept praying. Darius knew he had made a foolish law and didn’t want to throw Daniel into the lions’ den, but he was not allowed to change the law. On the night when Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den, Darius could not sleep. When the next morning came, he rushed to check on Daniel.
Read Daniel 6:19-23
God’s angel kept the lions from harming Daniel! Both in his youth and his old age, Daniel always trusted God and never stopped praying to Him. May we do the same!
Prayer: Thank God for allowing us to always pray to Him, no matter what others might think. Ask God for a heart like Daniel’s to always be thankful.