Theology of Prayer: Scriptural Support (Part 14: Ezekiel, Daniel)

Daniel 6 offers a story of prayer. In trying to capture Daniel, the King’s advisors convince the king to make prayer to anyone other than the king an illegal activity. The king makes the decree, but Daniel prays three times a day before opened windows and does not heed the decree. The king’s advisors tell the king of Daniel’s disobedience, which distressed the king. He had no choice but to put Daniel into the lions’ den, where he spent the night. In the morning, the king ordered the den to be opened, and he found Daniel very much alive. The kings counselors were then ordered into the den, where the lions devoured them immediately. The king then issued a decree for the kingdom to revere God. Daniel prospered under his reign. Here we see a relationship between prayer and prosperity, even prayer that is proffered illegally.

Daniel 9 contains a lengthy prayer from Daniel. He states that he understood from Scripture–from Jeremiah–that the desolation of Jerusalem would last 70 years. He prayed to the Lord, petitioning and fasting in mourning, confessing that God is great and awesome, and he keeps his covenant of love with those who love and obey him. He acknowledges his peoples’ wickedness; he declares that they had sinned against Him. Then he asked for their deliverance on the basis of His great mercy. Here we see a mixture of elements: prayer as declaration, confession, petition, and request.