21 December 

Daniel 6 -7 

“I want to be a lion tamer!” Michael Palin passionately expresses to John Cleese, his career adviser in a well-known Monty Python sketch. Unfortunately, little does Michael know that lions are not the brown, small creatures that track down ants with their long noses, but are in fact ‘savage beasts’ about ‘5 foot high and 10 feet long’. Ultimately, Michael has no knowledge or experience in this field of work, instead better suiting the characteristics of a chartered accountant of which he is already. 

Like Michael, God has a plan for your life and has given you the character and personality to fully succeed (whilst remaining dependant on Him) in whatever position He wills. God’s plan isn’t just for us as individuals but for the world and he fulfils this plan through the birth of his son, Jesus the Messiah. Throughout the Old Testament we see many characters that are archetypal of the coming Messiah, one of which being a young man named Daniel… 

Daniel and his peers have worked incredibly hard and gone against the grain numerous times through their journey to reach the senior positions they (or indeed Daniel) occupy. Through faith and trust in God and God’s favour towards him, he lands himself the position of Chief Minister – alongside two others – overseeing the 120 satraps (or governors) looking after the kingdom of King Darius.  

I wonder how I would’ve fared in Daniel’s position once the law was decreed to worship and pray to none other than the present king at the expense of death by lion mauling. To Daniel, prayer was essential, understanding (circa 600 years before James penned a vital truth) “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). 

I think I can safely assume that most of us aren’t in danger of being fed to hungry beasts but, metaphorically speaking, we may feel in a den of lions through our current circumstances. 

Wherever you are, God is with you (Joshua 1:5). God is for you (Rom 8:31) and no weapon formed against you will prosper (Isa 54:17). For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10)! 

Nowadays, I, like many, might go a significant period of time without praying and that’s without the threat of almost certain death! 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to “pray without ceasing”. Corrie Ten Boom asks us, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tyre?” 


Gracious, heavenly Father.  

Thank you that you are ALWAYS with me, whether it feels like it or not. Thank you that you fight my battles and I can joyfully proclaim that you are my champion. Thank you that with Jesus coming to earth – we have the fulfilment of your plan and we have direct access to you through his death and resurrection. Jesus, you understand what it is to go into what looks like a dark permanent grave, like Daniel, and face what seems to be the end. To have the entrance sealed by stone, only to stride out victoriously! 

I ask that you would help silence the lions in my life, and into the fulfilling life that you promise. 

Will Norris 

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