In the time of Daniel (as in “and the lion’s den”), people who didn’t like Daniel convinced King Darius to issue a decree forbidding prayer to anyone or thing other than the king for the next 30 days. The punishment was to be thrown into – you guessed it – the lion’s den.
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 made a conscious choice to pray, and so do we – every day. It is important to set aside special time every day to consciously praise God for His wonderful works, thank God for everything we have been given, confess to God the things we have done wrong or left undone and ask God to meet our needs and the needs of our neighbors. The bravery Daniel showed by consciously praying at an open window during such a time is undeniable.
But there is another aspect of prayer – the breath prayer. As a wise woman once told me, “Prayer is like breathing: you don’t think about it; you just do it.” If we keep Scripture and Godly music in our hearts, then many times throughout the day as situations arise, a verse or song lyric may just pop in our heads and remind us of God’s love. That is also a prayer – the kind of prayer Paul talked about when he exhorted us to “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
“Think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues ‘without ceasing’; we are not even conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect oneness with God but if we are obeying Him, He always is. Prayer is not an exercise; it is the life of the saint. Beware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer. Maintain the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time.” Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest: Updated Edition)
I don’t know if I could be as brave as Daniel if faced with something as horrific as the lion’s den. But I like to think that my breath prayers would continue, as automatically as my breathing, no matter what the circumstances.