Have you ever had an experience in life when you were doing your very best, but while some admired your efforts, others were angered? Perhaps you really were doing a fantastic job. Perhaps others were learning from your example. Even so, there were those who looked, saw, and jealousy overtook them.
Perhaps they revealed the color of their hearts through hurtful words or actions. You knew you were innocent; even so, intent to hurt was hurled in your direction. What is the best thing to do? This question could bring about all sorts of discussion. Some might say to turn the other cheek. Others might say you’re not meant to be a doormat on which anyone may wipe their feet. Another thought is to simply try to ignore the hurtful remarks. Yes, all sorts of discussion may come about due to such a scenario.
There is a true to life Biblical story about this very thing. It’s recorded in Daniel 6. Most everyone, Christian or not, will know the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. Daniel had been captured as a young man by an enemy nation. He was made a slave, but in time, his character shone bright in its integrity. Authorities began to notice the honesty and wisdom of this man. Daniel was given responsibility in the kingdom.
At one point, Daniel was made an administrator to watch over the king’s interests. Due to his skill and honest work ethic, the king made plans to place him in charge over all the affairs of the empire. When word of this got out, the lesser administrators, filled with rage and jealousy, devised a plan to put an end to Daniel. They persuaded the king to sign a decree that for 30 days all prayers would be directed to the king only. Anyone caught praying to any other god would be killed.
If you don’t know the story, you can probably guess what happened. Daniel continued living his life as he had always done, praying to God Almighty, kneeling in worship before Him. The other administrators knew of Daniel’s practice. They timed their entrance to catch him in the act. Immediately, they reported the deed to the king. King Darius realized he had been tricked; he liked Daniel, but not even he could change his own decree.
Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den and a stone was placed over the entrance. It’s interesting to note that when this happened, Daniel was an old man. Theologians believe him to have been in his 80’s. Therefore, it was not likely that Daniel could have hoped to wrestle himself out of his predicament, or engaged in a rock climbing skill to avoid the paws of the lions. Even so, Daniel had a weapon, unseen by human eyes, that would save him from peril. Daniel prayed. Prayer was a weapon that was familiar to Daniel’s heart. He was skilled in sending both petitions and praises to God. There is no doubt that using the weapon of prayer would have been the very first thing that Daniel did. His body was old, but his heart could engage in any battle through the weaponry of prayer.
Why is it that when you and I face life’s difficulties, unfair treatment, and harsh words from others, that prayer is so often the last resort we turn to, to help us in our troubles? Perhaps we are not as skilled in the use of prayer as Daniel. If that is the case, anyone can grasp hold of the weapon of prayer right now: petition God Almighty with your hurts and concerns; then praise Him for His comfort, guidance, wisdom, mercy, and love without end.