“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matt. 6:6, NKJV).
Read Daniel 6:10. Why doesn’t Daniel simply pray quietly without anyone seeing him?
Daniel is an experienced statesman, but, above all, he is God’s servant. As such, he is the only member of the government who can understand what lies behind the king’s decree. For Darius the decree amounts to an opportunity to strengthen the unity of the kingdom, but for the conspirators it is a strategy to get rid of Daniel.
Of course, the real causes and motives behind the plot lie in the cosmic battle between God and the forces of evil. At this time (539 B.C.) Daniel has already received the visions recorded in Daniel chapter 7 (553 B.C.) and 8 (551 B.C.). So he can understand the royal decree, not as a matter of mere human politics but as an instance of this cosmic war. The vision of the Son of Man delivering the kingdom to the people of the Most High and the comforting assistance of the angel interpreter (Daniel chapter 7) may have brought him the courage to face the crisis head on. He may also have reflected on the experience of his companions, who have been brave enough to challenge the decree of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel chapter 3).
Thus, he does not change his devotional habits but continues his customary practice of praying three times a day towards Jerusalem. In spite of the prohibition to make petition to any man or god but the king, Daniel takes no precaution to hide or disguise his prayer life during those critical thirty days also. He is an absolute minority since he is the only one, among dozens of governors and other officers, on a collision course with the royal decree. Through his open prayer life, though, he demonstrates that the allegiance he owes to God comes before his allegiance to the king and his irrevocable decree.
|Read Acts 5:27-32. Though the admonition here is clear, why must we, when acting in defiance of human law, always be sure that what we are doing is truly God’s will? (After all, think of people who died rather than betray a belief or belief system that we believe is wrong!)|