Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
Daniel had faithfully served God, even while faithfully serving in the government of Babylon over a period of around 60 years. And when the Persians conquered Babylon, Daniel’s administrative skills were again recognized, and he was promoted to high position in the Persian government. Still everyone knew he put God first.
When his enemies tried to find anything to bring against him, they could find nothing. They realized, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God” (Daniel 6:5).
So they devised a plot against Daniel. They convinced the king to decree that no one should pray to anyone except the king for a month.
Daniel knew this law had been enacted; but instead of trying to hide, he continued with his regular practice of praying three times a day. He knew he needed that contact with God, and he must have considered it hypocritical to change his routine when he knew his enemies would find a way to trap him anyway.
This famous story has a happy ending. Though praying to God got Daniel thrown into a den of hungry lions, Daniel’s prayers were effective in receiving God’s miraculous protection. As the apostle Peter said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
For more about prayer, see “How to Pray.”