Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem…
From this event in Daniel's life we learn,
I. PRINCIPLE IS THE CENTRAL POWER OF LIFE. The principle which distinguishes morally between men is a conviction of the difference between right and wrong, ascertained on good grounds, and carried out in the details of life. The orderly, irreproachable character of Daniel's behaviour in ordinary matters is remarkable. We sometimes meet people with great principles who do not seem to have discovered the application of them to their usual habits. It is by doing small and common things with uncommon care that we form the habits by which the highest end is attained. Daniel's conduct was guided by principle. This will become plain if we notice where he lived. His neighbours were pagans, and their scoffing jests, and unrestrained licentiousness were at variance both with the profession and the practice of a godly life. Mark also how Daniel was occupied. The common excuse for the neglect of religious duties, that men have no time for them; strikingly refuted by the instance before us. Then look at what Daniel was threatened with. Principle must have had a strong hold of his heart to enable him to resist his fears. There were so many loopholes by which a less resolute heart might have escaped the danger. Seldom is a situation outwardly so sublime as Daniel's; but we greatly err if we forget that there are parallels to it on every side of us. If there are no lions' dens, there are the snares of business, and the power of fashion, and the fear of the world's laugh.
II. PRINCIPLE IS NOURISHED BY HABITS OF DEVOTION. Daniel's case not only enforces the duty of prayer, but explains its nature, and in every aspect in which we look at him as he prays, we are instructed by the sight. See what we learn about the manner of prayer. The need of privacy and retirement. The attitude — kneeling. The frequency of the praying. Observe what we can gather concerning the matter of prayer. In so far as it consisted of supplication, we easily imagine what he would pray for. He addressed God as "his God." How instructive it is to learn that Daniel gave thanks. Three thoughts in conclusion.
(1) True prayer cannot exist without faith.
(2) Faith cannot exist without prayer. prayer is the first, the best, the habitual exercise of faith.
(3) Young men have need of both faith and prayer.Let them try the good old plan of principle as the central power, and prayer as the unfailing oil by which that principle is lighted. It was thus that our ancestors made such strong men in contending for their faith. They were men of one Book, and they were much given to prayer. Let young men take with them faith in Daniel's God, with prayer to Him as their Father and Friend, and they will step forth to labour on the opening fields of life, hearing their Master's voice, "My son, go work to-day in my vineyard."
(A. MacEwen, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
WEB: When Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house (now his windows were open in his room toward Jerusalem) and he kneeled on his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did before.