Read Daniel 6:10-18
Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” 17 And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.
I have had seasons of restless non-sleep. I somehow manage to take hold of worries, troubles, trials, challenges, and difficulties – some of which belong to me – but over which I have little or no control. I will often lay in bed and pray the Lord’s Prayer during those sleepless nights…over and over again until I finally do fall asleep. The Serenity Prayer is also appropriate: “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
It is not clear whether King Darius prayed that night is not recorded. We do know he fasted. He didn’t tune in the ancient near-eastern equivalent of HBO, or login to Facebook the night that Daniel spent in the Lion’s den. No diversions were brought to him, we’re told. He anxiously awaited the morning light. He fasted and waited.
We may find ourselves captive to decisions we have made too hastily, or been forced into situations not of our own choice. It is during those times that the blessings of prayer, and the gift of God’s word will be all the more precious to us.
Many years ago, during the lead-up to a major decision our church was making, one long-time and very wise member said, “If we are to accomplish this we will need to fortify ourselves with the Word of God and Prayer.” How true. In fact if we are going to follow the path of God’s blessing we will need to fortify ourselves with the Word of God and prayer. That’s better than any diversion we might offer ourselves.