We all read about men and women of God throughout scripture that inspire us. Some encourage our faith, others may encourage boldness or wisdom. But for the prophet Daniel his prayer life is what encourages and teaches me the most.
Daniel was a man of prayer, and because of this, he was a man of God. It is apparent from reading the book of Daniel that everything he was flowed from his relationship with God.
He was a wise advisor and governor, he was a good friend to those around, and he was a prophet who saw many revelations from the Lord. Including many end time revelations.
None of these things that he accomplished would be possible without the rock solid prayer life that he had. So, in this article, we are going to be covering the prayer life of Daniel, and we’re going to find out how we can pray like him in our own lives. Let’s get started.
How did Daniel Pray?
The Bible says that Daniel’s prayers consisted of thanksgiving and supplications. He would pray on his knees three times every day.
All throughout the Bible, we see a very consistent theme when it comes to praying and that is; prayer consists of asking God and thanking God.
Our thanksgiving and our praying should be in perfect balance. Daniel’s prayer life consisted of both asking God and thanking God for everything that He has done.
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days” (Daniel 6:10)
Daniel wasn’t the only one who prayed this way. We also see that the apostle Paul taught followers of Jesus to pray in a similar way.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
In fact, almost every time throughout scripture if you see prayer taught you will also find that thanksgiving is mentioned as well. (Related article: Prayer Life of Jesus & How to Pray Like Him).
How Long/How many hours did Daniel pray?
The Bible never specifies how long Daniel prayed, but we can assume Daniel prayed anywhere from 1 to 3 hours every day. We can assume this based on a number of factors; the common Jewish schedule during that time, Daniel’s dedication to praying three times per day, and examples from other prayers.
We are told in the sixth chapter of Daniel that Daniel prayed three times a day very consistently. The Bible says that he did this “since early days”.
So judging by this consistency, we can assume that Daniel prayed at least an hour per day. I say this because of simple math. 20 minutes per prayer time X three times per day = an hour of praying.
Obviously, Daniel could have prayed 10 minutes each time. The truth is no one knows the exact amount. I’m simply assuming this because looking at Daniel’s character, integrity, and desire for God I don’t think he’s giving a quick nod to God and then bolting for the door.
Someone who chooses to pray three times per day and then continues to do it consistently, even in the midst of persecution, is someone who loves God enough to linger in His presence.
On the high estimate, I said three hours because if daniel was in the middle of a crisis and he was able to stay with God as long as he needed, he would.
So if this meant an hour, four hours, or all day, I think Daniel would stay there until he got his answer or until he had no other choice but to resume his responsibilities.
I believe this is how daniel would have behaved simply because this is how he acted during times of trouble throughout the book of Daniel.
When King Nebuchadnezzar was demanding that his advisors tell him the dream he had along with the interpretation of his dream, and if they didn’t he was going to kill them (along with Daniel), what does it say Daniel did?
“So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation.
“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 2:16-19).
First, it says that Daniel went before the King and asked for some time, and then it says he sought “mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret.”
What’s interesting about this story is that Daniel must have been praying for a very long time. I say this because he first comes before the King to ask for more time, and the king grants it.
Then immediately goes into prayer with his friends. Then, finally, when he goes to sleep he receives a revelation through a dream (night vision).
Now we have to think about this for a minute. If your life, your coworkers, and your friend’s lives were all threatened by your boss unless you gave him an impossible answer by the morning, would you stop praying at 9 pm? What about 11 pm?
Of course not! You would be praying well into the night. If anything Daniel probably passed out praying and then that’s when God gave him the dream!
So, in short, we would not be assuming too much if we say that Daniel prayed for about an hour to three hours every day, so long as his schedule allowed it. (Related article: How Long/Often should Christians Pray? (Biblical Answer)].
How many times did Daniel Pray per day?
As mentioned previously, Daniel prayed three times per day. The Bible says that he would be on his knees every day, praying and giving thanks to His God.
The passage of scripture that reveals this is Daniel 6 chapter 10.
“And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.”
Daniel was not the only one who practiced this consistently. King David practiced it and even the apostle Peter practiced it.
“As for me (David), I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice. (Psalms 55:16-17)
Now as for the apostle Peter, the Bible says in Acts 2:15, he prayed with the church at the third hour of the day (9 am). In Acts 3:1, “Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour” (3 pm). And in Acts 10:9, Peter went up to housetop to pray at the sixth hour of the day (noon).
So as we can see from these three awesome men of God, praying three times a day was a very powerful thing and fairly common among men who followed God with all their hearts. [Related article: Praying Three Times a Day (What the Bible Says)].
At what times did Daniel Pray?
Daniel most likely prayed morning, noon, and evening. We can also assume that they were probably during the times of 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm.
We can assume that he prayed in the morning, at noon, and in the evening time mainly because that’s exactly what King David did (Psalms 55:16-17).
We can also make a conservative assumption that the more specific times were 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm. I say this with confidence because this is exactly what the apostle Peter did when he prayed three times per day.
Also, the Jewish tradition back then was to pray three times every day at those times. These times were even referred to as the “hours of prayer” in the New Testament (Acts 2:15, Acts 3:1, andActs 10:9).
Why did Daniel pray three times per day?
A few reasons why Daniel would want to pray three times per day are; Jewish tradition, his schedule allowed it, and it was easier for him to maintain focus on God throughout his day.
Obviously, there are many possible reasons why the prophet Daniel decided to pray three times per day, and since we don’t live in his era there is no real way to know for sure unless the Bible makes it clear.
And as far as I know, the Bible never gives us a reason why Daniel decided to pray three times per day and not for a set of time in the morning/evening like we see many other men of God in the Bible.
But what we can do is look at the few major reasons he would have had to consider praying in this structure.
First, is Jewish tradition. As mentioned previously, it was Jewish tradition to pray three times per day so this definitely could have been a deciding factor for Daniel.
Second, is his schedule allowed it. The Bible makes it very clear that Daniel was a busy man. He was one of the three leading governors over the entire Babylonian Kingdom (Daniel 6:1-3), and he was the most trusted among the three. Because of this, it is possible that praying three times per day fits better in his schedule than praying all at once.
Finally, it was easier for him to keep his focus throughout the day. Praying three times per day is very beneficial because it allows you to keep your mind on God throughout your day. It’s much more difficult to forget about God when you are coming before Him to spend time with Him multiple times a day.
Personally, I think all three of these reasons influenced his decision to pray three times per day, and I’m glad that he stuck with it because it left an amazing example for every disciple of Christ to follow.
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