Praying While The World Plots
Text: Daniel 6:1-28
C.H. Spurgeon once said, "Prayer pulls the rope down below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give only an occasional jerk at the rope. But he who communicates with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously with all his might."
The World Plots Daniel 6:1-9
It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
God’s Man Targeted
Daniel, whose name means God is my judge, was taken as a young man probably in his teens from Jerusalem to the capital of the kingdom of Babylon during the reign of king Nebuchadnezzar. Here he was given another name, just as Hananiah, Mishaal and Azariah, his companions. His name in Babylonian, was Belteshazzar, which means O Bel, protect the hostage of the king. From the beginning of their captivity and their grooming to be servants of the king, the Hebrew captives determined to honor their God, their heritage and their families. They did not adopt the customs of their new land, nor their food, and especially not their multiple gods.
Over time Daniel rose in prominence as God gave him opportunity to tell and interpret the dreams of the King. Later in life when he had been almost forgotten he was called once again when during a drunken feast God wrote upon the wall of the grandson of Nebuchaddnezzer in words that none could understand except Daniel. He was called for and read the words…Daniel 5:26-28 God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. That very night the army of the Medes and the Persians which had laid siege to the city, diverted a river that ran through the city and entered through the riverbed and took the capital. The Babylonian empire ended and the Persian empire, one of the greatest empires of all time and history began. In that empire Daniel once again rose to prominence.
Daniel chapter 6 take place over 60 years after the events in Daniel chapter 1 and Daniel would be well into his 70s or older when chapter 6 takes place. Darius in now the king of the Persian kingdom and his desire to appoint Daniel as his chief counselor, his prime minister, bring a plot against this faithful man of God. The other 120 governors of the other provinces are jealous and devise a plan to remove the old Jew. The propose that for 30 days all prayers and petitions must be addressed only to the King. If anyone should not obey this decree, then they shall be thrown into the lions den. They did this because they knew Daniel would not pray to any but his God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He would pray to the God of Zion with his face turned toward Jerusalem. They knew this because this is what he had done for over 60 years, three times a day.
God’s Church Targeted
Today in our society more than ever, the world is trying to do to us, what those scheming rulers tried to do to Daniel. They are still plotting to destroy God’s people. They seek to destroy because God’s people live in this world but they are not part of this world.
Scripture: John 17:11-16 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Those who are under the control of the god of this world, hate God and hate God’s people.
Humanist Manifesto II (1973)
We believe that traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience do a disservice to the human species. Any account of nature should pass the tests of scientific evidence; in our judgment, the dogmas and myths of traditional religions do not do so. Even at this late date in human history, certain elementary facts based upon the critical use of scientific reason have to be restated. We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural; it is either meaningless or irrelevant to the question of survival and fulfillment of the human race. As nontheists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity.
Too often traditional faiths encourage dependence rather than independence, obedience rather than affirmation, fear rather than courage. We can discover no divine purpose or providence for the human species. While there is much that we do not know, humans are responsible for what we are or will become. No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.
The creed of humanism is that man is his own god and man is the measure of all things.
Evolution teaches that man is the result not of a creator but of mindless, random chance. Man is no more important than a bug or animal we are all just byproducts of the same random chances. Since man is only an animal, there is no afterlife, no judgment, no heaven, no hell only nothingness after this life.
The Homosexual, now transsexual agenda for society hates and detest Christianity with its rules and morality and is doing all it can to destroy it.
In 1987 Michael Swift said this in the Boston Gay Community News, "We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, ...wherever men are with men together. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us. All churches who condemn us will be closed. Our holy gods are handsome young men. ...We shall be victorious because we are fueled with the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed..." -Michael Swift - Boston Gay Community News - February 15-21, 1987
Culture and Society has become the breeding ground of the worst forms of sexual perversion, and the erasure of all genders. Mankind is determined to remake itself outside the boundaries of even the idea of God, biology or even common sense.
Romans 1:21-28 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (not fitting, not proper, things which should not be done!)
We all know Christian and church members who no longer care about God or the things of God. Christians whose marriages are ruined and families broken. Christians whose children are rebelling against the Lord and against them, breaking everyone’s hearts. Children and grandchildren who are in love with the world and who believe the lies and plots of this world, who now believe they are not male or female, or that as male or female they can ignore God’s word, God’s law and God’s creation and find happiness in the worst sins condemned by God’s strongest judgments.
Why has this happened? Because the world plotted and they did not even know they were being targeted or how to overcome the evil plans of this world. But Daniel knew as we see in the next passage.
The Believer Prays Daniel 6:10-17
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. And a stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
When Daniel knew about the plot what did he do? He simply went home and with his window open he prayed, as was his custom. He simply continued as he had for his whole life to stand for God.
Daniel’s prayer shows:
Faith, as he prayed toward Jerusalem, the city of God, believing one day they would return.
It showed worship, as he met and talked with God
It shows humility, as he knelt before his creator and sustainer.
We see his not only his faith but his faithfulness, for the Bible tells us this was his practice, three times a day he sought the face of God.
Petition, he brought his needs before God
Solicitation, he prayed for others.
Gratitude, he gave thanks to his God in even in the midst of persecution.
And Daniel knew that it was not himself or even his act of praying that would overcome the worlds plotting against him. No, he knew the power was with God and it was prayer that put Daniel in contact with God.
Reaction and Action
Our response should be as Daniel’s
Go home, that is where God intends for you to find your strength.
Pray with the windows open. Stand for God openly and without apology.
Pray as is your custom. Be faithful in your prayers and in your service to God.
And especially pray the way Daniel prayed.
In our payers we should worship God. We should have faith. We should pray consistently and faithfully. We should prayer for our needs and for the needs of others and we should above all other things be thankful. In in the times we live, be thankful.
Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Bro. Jim Dearmore’s remark on prayer
Jim Dearmore was once ambushed while driving from their compound to get supplies. He was in his Land Rover when suddenly automatic weapons began firing. Hundreds of bullets hit the vehicle, he himself was struck dozens of times, his glasses were even shot off his face and afterward a rocket propelled grenade was found in the back seat but it had not exploded. Brother Dearmore understood opposition and what it might cost to stand for God.
When I was in college, he came as spoke at one of our conferences. I was listening to him preach when he made this statement, “Telling a Christian that he is reduced to prayer is like telling a soldier he is reduced to the atomic bomb.” I wrote it down in the flyleaf of my Bible so I would never forget it.
To Daniel and to people like Jim Dearmore, prayer is not what you do because you can’t do anything else. Prayer is what you do to as a child of God to experience God and his power all day and everyday.
The Father Protects - Daniel 6:18-23
Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den. Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
God’s Protection of Daniel
Introduction: Difference between a Northern and a Southern fairy tale
A northern fairytale begins "Once upon a time...A southern fairytale begins 'Y'all ain't gonna believe this…
Story of Daniel in the lion’s den.
God’s Protection of Us
God protected Daniel as he protected Hananiah, Azariah and Mishal and I believe that He will also protect us from the wild beasts of spiritual and moral destruction that we face today.
Scripture: 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Some of the lions we face
We face the lion of apathy which seeks to devour our concern for others. The lion of immorality that will destroy our walk with God. The lion of ignorance that take away our minds. The lion of addiction that binds us and makes us slaves. The lion of perversion that twists our mind, heart and body into a misshapen thing instead of God’s highest creation.
But these life and spiritual beasts will have their mouths shut by the angel of the Lord in our life just as they were in Daniel’s.
The mouth of the lion of apathy will be stopped by the angel of compassion.
The mouth of the lion of immorality is stopped by the angel of purity.
The mouth of the lion of ignorance by the angel of truth.
The mouth of the lion of addiction by the angel of submission to God.
The mouth of the lion of perversion by the angel of holiness.
These angels, these messengers of God, are found in the Word of God and unleashed for our protection by our prayers to God.
Elisha prays for his servant to see the host
2 Kings 6:15-17 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
Elisha is not here today and we don’t have the same dispensation of miracles that he lived under but this much is the same and will never change, “the mountains are full of horses and chariots of fire round about us” and God’s angels ride with God’s children.
Jim Dearmore was a missionary to Rhodesia now Zimbabwe, during its civil war, in the 1970s. Jame Dearmore story of the compound protected by men in white.
Yes, the world is plotting against you today, if you are a child of God. The god of this world hates the people of God, the church of God and the word of God. He will use lies, half-truths, evil men, immoral movements and corrupt governments to try and destroy us. But you have a weapon of mass resistance, you have the power of prayer. Take every opportunity to enter the presence of God and to find there the power you need to overcome this world.