“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” – Daniel 1:9
We often see Daniel as a mighty man of God who defied kings, stood strong in the midst of lions and was a prayer warrior. “Of course,” we think to ourselves, “God would use a man like this. Me? I am too defiled, faulty, sinful! What hope is there for me?”
During the Babylonian siege of Judah, Daniel was said to be taken in the first wave of deportees. We see the mighty things Daniel did but do we ever consider who he was prior to the deportation and during the travel to Babylon?
It has been written that Babylon was about 30 miles from modern Baghdad. This would be a 900 mile trip from the elevated hill areas of Judea to a dry region of up to 140 degree temperatures in flat land with no hills in sight. They had very little rainfall and had to toil hardened land. And although Daniel was shown favor when he got to Babylon, he probably was not treated very well during the trip.
When Daniel and his friends were captured, it is believed that Daniel was 15. They are probably arrested in their homes, shackled by their hands and feet and watching the towers of Zion destroyed as they are carried away on a several hundred mile journey.
Daniel and his friends are known as men who stood their ground during very adverse conditions and threats to their very lives. What caused this great faith? It was their prayer life. It was their trust in their God. And where was this learned? It was learned during a time of adversity in their lives. When they were shackled as prisoners and traveled long dusty roads under intense heat. This is where they learned to pray and lean on their Maker, God the Father.
Life is not easy for anyone, Christian or not. We are not always promised good times. And just because we see others in the Bible, or others around us, that seem to be better or are “making it” we need to remember that we do not know what they have gone through or experienced in their lives to get to that place of peace. They may have gotten there through very difficult times and made it through with prayer.
Through every season, learn to pray to God. It is through this, and this alone, where you will find success. For in it, you find God’s will for your life and the strength to endure.
“Every man must find out the best ways of prayer for himself. There is no royal road; there is no short or easy road to proficiency in prayer.” – Alexander Whyte