Daniel was a person who was always praying, even at the risk of his life. Because he was such a praying person, the kings (Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, and Belteshazzar) spoke of him as “having an excellent spirit”.
Daniel had an excellent spirit because he had an exercised spirit, a spirit that always prayed to His God. He feared God, honored God, and exalted God, being always under the rule of the heavens by the God of the heavens (Dan. 6:10; 9:1-4, 17; 5:12, 14; 6:3; 5:22-23; 4:25-26, 32).
Even when the jealous rulers tricked the king into signing a decree that no one should pray to his god but to the king for 30 days, Daniel went to his upper room, opened his windows toward Jerusalem, and prayed three times “because he had always done so previously” (Dan. 6:10).
Satan hates our prayer life and he will raise up all kinds of things and persons to stop and frustrate us from praying. We need to realize that we can offer God our best cooperation and coordination through prayer, and therefore we should keep our prayer time with the Lord every day.
Our prayer is like a stronghold on the battlefield, taking a stand for God.
Lord, make us those who have an excellent spirit. We want to keep our prayer time with You every day, no matter what! Thank You we can cooperate with You and we can give You our highest coordination through prayer. Lord, we are Your people, those living under God’s rule, and we agree with You – may Your kingdom come on earth, and may Your will be done on the earth as it is being done in the heavens!
Fearing God, Honoring God, and Living Under God’s Rule
Daniel feared God more than he feared man, and he feared losing God’s smile and His presence more than he feared losing the king’s favor. To fear God doesn’t mean to be afraid of God, but,
“Fearing God means wanting God, desiring single-heartedly to keep His will, being fully submissive to Him, wanting nothing of ourselves, walking not according to our will, seeing not ourselves, and seeing God’s greatness alone (Daniel 5:22-23; Psa. 86:11; Isa. 11:2).” (Watchman Nee).
To fear God is to revere God, to honor God, and to respect God. Lord, make my heart single in fearing Your name! Lord, fill me with the spirit of fearing of Jehovah!
To honor God is not merely “not to speak the Lord’s name in vain” but to live and walk by the Spirit for Christ to be exalted. This kind of walk will also honor others by ministering the Spirit to them (see Judges 9:9).
To live under God’s rule is to be filled with His ruling presence of righteousness, holiness, and glory – to receive His dispensing continually so that we may be produced as His wise exhibition of all that He is (Gen. 9:8-17; Ezek. 1:26-28; Rev. 4:3; 21:18-20; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 3:10-11).
The very attributes of God that kept us away from the tree of life (God’s righteousness, His holiness, and His glory) are now being dispensed into us as we eat the tree of life, and they work in us to produce us to be the church, God’s wise exhibition of all He is in the universe!
A Man of Prayer with an Excellent Spirit
Every time Daniel encountered a crucial matter, he prayed – he didn’t trust in himself but he believed in God, and he depended on prayer to do what man could not do.
We need to be such men of prayer today, men with an excellent spirit, those who exercise their spirit continually to pray. When we pray in Spirit, we are filled with and we are brought under God’s ruling presence, so that God would carry out His economy (see Rev. 4:1-3; Eph. 6:17-18).
The best cooperation and coordination we can give God today as men on earth is our prayer – God carries out His plan, His purpose, His economy, through His faithful channels of prayer on earth today (Matt. 26:41; Acts 6:4; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2).
Satan knows this, and he does his best to frustrate our prayer in Spirit – but the more Satan tries to frustrate or stop our prayer, the more we should pray (just as Daniel did, see Dan. 6:10 and verses 4-9).
Prayer is the lifeline in the Lord’s recovery and it is our spiritual breathing, what keeps us alive spiritually. When we pray we declare,
Lord, we cannot do it, we cannot be it, and we cannot make it, but we depend on You to do it, be it, and make it! Lord, we depend on prayer because we depend on You! Only through prayer we can understand things that man can’t understand, and we can do things that humanly are not possible. Lord, we fully depend on You – keep us in a spirit of prayer!
Offering God The Highest Prayer
God doesn’t want us to just “pray all the time” by uttering all kinds of words, doing our best to just “pray”…. no, what He desires is to have men of prayer, those who pray for what is on His heart.
Daniel reached the highest peak in prayer when he prayed, “… for the Lord’s sake” (Dan. 9:17). The prophet clearly said that there will be 70 years of captivity, and so God should release His people to go back to the home land, but Daniel still prayed, Lord, do it for Your sake!
We don’t pray “for our sake” or “for others’ sake” – we need to pray for the Lord’s sake. Our prayer to the Lord in our prayer life needs to reach the highest peak, asking God to do it for His sake!
Do we see that God desires to build up the Body of Christ? Lord, build up Your Body for Your sake! Do we see that God desires to raise up a young generation who are absolute for Him, willingly offering themselves to Him? Lord, gain such a generation for Your sake!
This kind of prayer, this kind of aligning our will to God’s will, can be offered by someone who prays to God with a single heart, and such a person can be used by God to change the age!
Lord, teach us how to pray and bring our prayer to the highest peak. We want to give You our best cooperation and coordination through our prayer! Lord, make us men of prayer with an excellent spirit, those living under the rule of the God of the heavens. Make us men of prayer for Your sake. Make us those who turn the age for Your sake. Lord, uplift our prayers and increase our prayer life!
References and Further Reading
- Sharing inspired from brother Ed Marks’ speaking in this message and portions in, Men Who Turn the Age, (ch. 2), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on Crystallization-Study of Daniel and Zechariah, week 2 (entitled, A Pattern of a Person Used by God to Turn the Age).
- Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Teach us to pray and use Thy rod / In strong, prevailing prayer, / Beneath Thy blood to shake the earth / And powers of the air.
# Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath, / The Christian’s native air; / His watchword at the gates of death; / He enters rest with prayer.
# “Ask in faith,” for God is waiting / For thy faith-filled, earnest prayer. / Faith delights Him; faith can touch Him, / Every moment, everywhere.
- Pictures credit: Via, Inspiration Unlimited Facebook page, HWMR Daniel and Zechariah Quotes album.