The Mighty Angels of Daniel 8: The Power of Prayer
By Nathan Jones
The Power of Prayer
Vic Batista: We are continuing our study of God’s mighty angels in the book of Daniel with chapter 8. We are first going to learn from Daniel’s exemplary prayer life. A lot of the prophetic interpretations and visions that were revealed to Daniel came because of his active prayer life. For example, check out Daniel 8:1.
“In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me—to me, Daniel—after the one that appeared to me the first time.”
Nathan Jones: Daniel did indeed have a fantastic prayer life. He was very dedicated, praying three times a day while facing Jerusalem. Daniel knew what it was like to pray. He didn’t just spout quicky prayers here and there, or pray once a week, or forget to pray at all. The man was disciplined. Some people are down on being disciplined when it comes to their prayer life, because if you’re not disciplined, you are usually not going to pray. Daniel made sure to pray three times a day.
When Daniel was deep in prayer, the Lord rewarded him for it. Daniel’s relationship with the Lord became very strong. The New Testament even lists Daniel as one of the great men of faith. He is a good example of why it is important to have a good prayer life. Trials and discipline forged Daniel into a fantastic biblical example on the importance of prayer.
Vic Batista: God often works some incredible miracles when we just ask. He dispatches His mighty angels and they perform incredible works in the name of the Lord. As we get further into Daniel 8, we’ll look at God’s mighty angels as they are being dispatched by God to perform some incredible works.
Nathan Jones: Daniel’s reliance on God through prayer was forged out of adversity. Daniel was a young man, likely 16 years old, and along with his three friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, they were exiled out of their home city of Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar, the great Babylonian king, as God prophesied to Judah as punishment for their disobedience and wickedness, destroyed Jerusalem. He then took all the people out who were of nobility, learned, and beautiful. Nebuchadnezzar exiled the Jews over three different waves, and Daniel was part of the first wave. The king took the good-looking noblemen, the intelligent men, the leaders of the people, and brought them back to his home in Babylon. There he trained the exiles and converted them into Babylonians, and if they survived the tests, they would serve the king. This was Nebuchadnezzar’s way of destroying a nation by incorporating its people into his empire.
The converting of Daniel and his three friends would only go so far, to the point where the Jewish kosher food requirements the Babylonians wanted to break caused Daniel to finally put his foot down. He exclaimed, “Sorry, I can’t eat this food! We can’t eat this food because we are Jews; we are kosher. We’ll just eat vegetables and drink water.”
King Nebuchadnezzar’s chief eunuch who was placed in charge of the exiles thought that was a bad idea. He could get his own head chopped off if the Jews began to look sickly. Nebuchadnezzar was known for having a terrible temper.
Daniel requested that the steward allow the Jews to eat only vegetables for ten days and then test them to see if they were going to be okay on that diet. The steward allowed it, and to his surprise, after ten days Daniel and his friends looked great. The result was all the king’s trainees were then forced to become vegetarians like Daniel. Daniel probably didn’t make many friends that day, though.
Daniel put his foot down, made a point, and God honored it. Being Daniel, his stand and resulting potential execution were most certainly bathed in prayer. God responded to Daniel’s prayers by making Daniel, along with his three friends, the healthiest looking people after the test. Daniel then became legendary as one of the greatest servants to King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel’s hardships show us how very important it is that we Christians always by fervent prayer take a stand for what is right.
Vic Batista: What I loved about this story is the fact that these were young men. They were probably only 16, and yet they already had a wonderful prayer life. Parents should want their children to develop wonderful prayer lives early on so they can be able to stand against the Devil’s temptations. There are so many temptations and trials that young people face.
Nathan Jones: As we all know, our own faith cannot also be our children’s faith. I think that is why we see so many of our children leaving the church during the college years, because they have been living off their parent’s faith. They only go to church because their parents go to church. They are simply members of the Christian culture. They don’t feel the need to pray because their parents are praying for the family. But, as soon as they go off on their own and experience hardship, they decide that Christianity doesn’t protect them from all of life’s difficulties. Christianity isn’t the fix-all faith that they believed it to be, and so they just give up on it.
Daniel’s parents must have been very good parents because they trained him up right in the Lord from a young age. Even at 16, when Daniel was exiled out of Jerusalem and forced to move to Babylon, he was already very strong in the faith. Parents can look to Daniel and see that he grew up in real faith, and that he made it his own. Of course, once Daniel was under exile and persecution, because we tend to rely on God more, I think that most probably played into his prayer life as well.
In the fifth segment of this series on the mighty angels of Daniel, we’ll finally dive into chapter eight.