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. —Daniel 6:10, KJV
What do you suppose was Daniel’s secret? It has to be said that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were exceedingly rare men. It is not every day that you meet someone who conveys the presence of greatness. I don’t know about you, but I have a peculiarity, in that whenever I am in the presence of one I deem to be truly great, I instinctively ask, “What is their secret?” I want to absorb anything I can.
What was Daniel’s secret? He saw the overthrow of Babylon and a new king. Now Darius the Mede was none other than Cyrus the Persian, the man who would one day allow Israel to return. Despite the change of government, Daniel continued to enjoy royal favor.
Whatever the reason, we know that Daniel was not a threat to the new king and there was a real friendship. Real friendship is when there is no threat to each other. When you see one another as a threat, then there will always be tension.
The problem was that not everyone felt that way about Daniel. He had exceptional grace, and he so distinguished himself by his qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom; that was too much for his peers. Daniel knew, no matter what he did, they were out to get him.
It is at this point that we discover Daniel’s secret. It had something to do with God, and the most encouraging thing of all is that it was not his ability at the natural level, which no doubt was an ordinary secret. Prayer takes discipline, and Daniel had regular times of prayer. Extraordinary man but an ordinary secret; it is something anybody can do. Daniel simply loved God so much that he gave time to Him. We tell how much we care about another by how much time we give them. The secret of Daniel was not his intellect; it wasn’t his personality, his visions, or even his ability to debate—it was his prayer life.
Excerpted from The God of the Bible (Authentic Media, 2002).