Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven. (Daniel 2:17-19)
Praying In Babylon
The world of Babylon was a far cry from the life four young men expected to find themselves. Instead of growing up in the familiar surroundings of their beloved land of promise, they were thrust into a land of pagan worship, strange customs and servitude. It was not what they imagined their lives would turn out to be and yet here they were captives to a foreign ruler who desecrated the city and temple of the Most Holy God. They were more fortunate than many as they were chosen to serve in the king’s palace. Their names were changed and they had to learn the culture and language of their captive nation. The food given to the royal court was very different than the strict regulations of the Law of Moses. In a bold act of trust in the Lord God, the young men refused the king’s delicacies and were rewarded by God’s providence to excel in matters before the king. Their life in Babylon would be a constant test of faith as they confronted the trials of captivity. One such test came early in their life when the king began to kill all of the wise men.
Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him and calling his wise men he wanted to know the meaning of his vision. When asked what the dream was, the king commanded the wise men to tell him the dream and the interpretation which they could not do. They knew no man could tell another man’s dream without first the man revealing it to them. Angered by his wise men the king gave a command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. The killing began and when Daniel heard of the decree he implored the king to give him time to tell the king the interpretation. Daniel went to his house and told his three friends the story of the king’s decree and consequence if the dream could not be revealed with its interpretation. Faith comes in many forms but the faith that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah displayed that day was a complete trust in the power of God to work in their lives. The Chaldean’s had told the king no man on earth could tell the king’s matter and no other can tell it but the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh. They were partly correctly because they knew it was beyond the power of man to reveal a man’s dream. What they did not understand that Daniel and his three friends knew was the Lord God could reveal the dream and interpretation.
In a house somewhere in Babylon four men knelt to pray and seek petition of their heavenly Father. They were asking for a powerful revelation. Seeking the mercies of God, Daniel along with Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah all prayed fervently the vision would be revealed. Across the Babylonian landscape people were mourning the death of their loved ones killed by the king’s decree. Many others were hiding in fear of their lives as the decree for their deaths was clear. The king was angry, his wise men fearful. Four men in a quiet house prayed and found their prayers answered. The secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision and Daniel broke forth in praise to God for His kind deliverance and grace. There was nothing to fear and Daniel revealed the dream and its meaning to the king.
Prayer is a powerful means of sharing in the grace of a loving God. Faced with the uncertainty of their future, four men gathered together to combine their wills in seeking the petitions of the Lord. Their faith carried their pleas to the ear of God and He answered their prayers with deliverance. A lesson of prayer is the power of united prayer as four men sought the mercies of God together. Individual prayer is a daily need but spending time with others to lift up supplications shows the power of collective prayer. What is the power of collective prayer with there is a national crisis, great need of the church or special blessings upon a certain individual or family in Christ? This is not the prayer often worded during the worship service. The kind of prayer in Babylon was gathered in a house with hearts knit together in seeking the mercies of God for a particular purpose. Daniel and his friends came with great hope and trust in the power of God and He granted their desires. Four men – one prayer.