We have been looking at the life of Daniel over the last two weeks and trying to discern what it was that made him “greatly beloved” by God (Daniel 9:23; 10:11, 19).
Another thing we see about Daniel is that he was very conscientious even in routine and small matters. See how Daniel was careful to honor the Word of God in his life. In Daniel 1, when everyone else was eating forbidden foods, Daniel said, “NO!” (Daniel 1:8). Daniel’s courage to do right, and lead, inspired his three friends to do right! Be a leader - Inspire others to do right!
Another thing that made Daniel a favorite of Heaven was his prayerfulness - From his youth unto his old age, his was a life characterized by prayer. Daniel seemed to pray about everything (Philippians 4:6). Daniel prayed about food. He prayed about known, and unknown dreams. He prayed about Jerusalem, sin, and the glory of God. Anything that had the potential to produce anxiety was taken to the Lord in Prayer. Daniel’s usual practice in personal devotions were impressive (He prayed three times per day) - This routine would have been a scripturally guided preference …not a command. But, Daniel was willing to jeopardize his own life to maintain it. God is concerned about faithfulness in small things (Luke 16:10).
An ancient commentary reflected on Daniel’s prayer life this way. “Daniel’s prayers were both regular and special. Daniel prayed in his closet, and prayed by the river-side. Daniel had his stated prayer, morning, evening, and at noon, and yet set himself to pray for a whole day with fasting and sack- cloth for his brethren, his country and the cause of God. Daniel prayed for himself, and for others. His prayerfulness was well known to his heathen neighbors. His prayerfulness was the secret of all his other excellences. Its was the key that unlocked to him the treasury of all spiritual blessings and brought and kept him in fellowship with the source and sum of all excellence, and so made him like Him ; His prayers made him walk with God as a man with his friend, so that, like Moses, his face shone with the reflected glory. Prayer was the continual source and supply of strength for every duty and every trial ; not only for doing and suffering, but for doing and suffering in the right spirit.”
Notice also Daniel’s Patriotism. Is it wrong to be patriotic? Is it wrong to love and honor and respect the country you live in. Is it wrong to seek her best? If it is then don’t tell Daniel. Daniel grieved for the current state of his country and its people. He was concerned for his country’s peace and prosperity (both his homeland and his adopted country). He was concerned about the sin, humiliation and repentance of his people. He was concerned about the cause of God in this world, manifested though the nations which He had chosen to work through.
Think also for a moment about Daniel’s unselfishness and humility. In this prayer, (Daniel 9), he includes himself in the sin and judgment….Notice the plural pronouns:
v. 5 - We have sinned
v. 6 - Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets
v. 7 - Unto us belongs confusion of face
v.8 - We have sinned
v. 9 - We have rebelled
v. 10 - We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord
See his humility again when he brings his three friends into the prayer meeting with the king’s first dream - And even though the secret was revealed to him (Daniel 2:19) , he gives them credit when the answer is revealed (Daniel 2:36).
Again, Daniel renounces all self knowledge and wisdom when answering the King, and very simply gives all the credit to God (Daniel 2:28-30) for revealing the dream.
Also, when relating the story of his three friends standing, in spite of the fiery furnace trial, Daniel makes not one mention of himself....leaving all honor to them for their steadfast faith (most of us would have said, “uh, I wasn’t there…I was away on business. If I would have been there, I would have stood strongly with them.”)
Belshazzar was ready to bestow the highest honors on Daniel if he could interpret the handwriting on the wall....But Daniel told him to keep his gifts (Daniel 5:17). Such humility!
Is it any wonder that Daniel was a man “greatly beloved?”
Now go and do thou likewise!