“What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer” – E.M. Bounds.
He’s prayed for me everyday of my life since before I was born. When I was a little girl, I would walk downstairs in the early morning and see him on his knees, praying. He prayed over our home, over my room when I was scared, over my health when I was sick, and for my heart when it was hurting. When he was diagnosed with a serious disease, he prayed all the more. When times at church got hard and people were saying hurtful and untrue things, he turned to prayer. He can often be found outside pacing around our pool, deep in prayer. He prays for waiters and waitresses at restaurants. When he is asked for prayer in public, he usually stops then and there and prays for the person.
There are a lot of great things that can be said about my dad, but the most important thing is that he is a man who has spent many hours communing with God in prayer. His prayers have impacted my life in a profound way, for which I will never be able to properly thank him. I have walked in peace all of my life knowing that I have a dad who prays for me. What a difference that makes. When I think about my dad, I think about a man who stays the course when things get hard. He does not waiver, because He has God on his side. He is a man who stays.
Daniel is who comes to mind when I think of a prayer warrior from the Bible and a man who stayed. Daniel was an administrator in the kingdom of the city of Babylon, which had fallen under the hands of the Medes. He worked diligently and was found without fault, and the king was about to make him ruler over the entire kingdom. The other administrators were jealous of his success and tried to frame him. They knew that Daniel was a man of faith, so they tricked the king into signing an ordinance that anyone who prayed to any other god, other than the king, would be thrown into the lions’ den. Right after he learned about the decree, what did Daniel do? Did he go into frantic worry and talk to others about what he should do? Oh no. He went home, and he prayed. He prayed three times a day with his window open, facing Jerusalem. This decree did not stop Daniel from doing what was right, because Daniel was a man like my dad. He had walked with the Lord long enough to know that hysterical fear wouldn’t help anything. He was a man who stayed. There are three things in this passage that are worthy things to look for in a man – all signs of a man who stays the course.
A Man Who Works Hard
Daniel 6:3-4 says, “Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.” Daniel was placed in a position as an administrator in the kingdom, and for the glory of God, he was the best administrator there was. He was not lazy and complacent. He worked hard and gained favor with his fellow men. He was a wonderful example of a believer who did all of his work to the glory of God.
A Man Who Prays
“Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (Daniel 6:10). Daniel still prayed, even when it became illegal. He obeyed God over the law of the land, and He trusted God to take care of the results. The other administrators told the king what Daniel had been up to, and the king was dismayed when he realized that he had to honor his word and throw Daniel into the lions’ den. However, God took care of Daniel and let him live through the night among lions that should’ve eaten him the moment he fell into the den. Henrietta Mears said it best, “Daniel was thrown into the den of lions, but he fell into the hands of the living God. The world cannot breed a lion that God cannot tame. Shutting lions’ mouths of difficulty and temptation is God’s specialty.” Daniel was faithful to God in prayer, and God was faithful to preserve Daniel’s life.
A Man Who Is Found Innocent in His Sight
My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty” (Daniel 6:22). I wonder if God would have sent an angel on behalf of a prayer-less man. But God sent an angel to shut the mouth of the lions on Daniel’s behalf. Daniel said that the lions did not hurt him because he was found innocent in God’s sight. Wow – what a thing to be said about a man of God. The king then commanded all of the men who had falsely accused Daniel to be thrown into the lions’ den, along with their families. “And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones” (Daniel 6:24b). Not only did the Lord keep Daniel safe, but he delivered justice to the men who plotted against Daniel in the first place. God saved Daniel and paid revenge to his enemies, all without the help of Daniel. Daniel didn’t try to scheme or get back at his enemies. He worked hard, prayed, and stayed innocent in the Lord’s sight. The Lord took care of the rest.
When I think about my dad and Daniel, I think about men who have stayed the course, no matter what life’s circumstances might hold. When I think of men who stayed the course, I think of a Man on Calvary. A man who was also facing a life threatening situation just like Daniel. The night before He was to be crucified, Jesus went to the garden and prayed. He followed God’s will all the way to death on a cross. People mocked Him and said that if He was really God, He should just come down from the cross and save Himself. But He did not come down. He died for you and me and is the ultimate example of a Man who stayed.
Lord, thank You for being the ultimate example of a “man who stays.” Thank You for staying the course when Your circumstances got rough. Thank You for modeling for us what a man who stays looks like and what his prayer life looks like. Please help me to spend more time with You in prayer so that I can stay the course no matter the cost.