Stay Prayerful

Stay Prayerful With an Excellent Spirit

Pastor Don Carpenter

Behind Enemy Lines: Standing For God When Your Nation Does Not / Daniel 6

There once was an out of work actor named Daniel

He was so down and out that he’s ready to accept any acting part that came along. One day he saw an advertisement in the paper, ACTOR NEEDED TO PLAY A GORILLA.

I could do that,” Daniel arranged an interview.

The employer turned out to be the local zoo

The zoo had spent too much money renovating the grounds and improving the habitat that they can’t afford the gorilla.

So, Until they can get more funding, they’ve decided to use an actor in a gorilla suit. Needing the money, Daniel took the job.

At first, he felt not only dishonest by fooling the customers but also undignified in the ape suit,

But after a few days on the job, he begins to be amused by all the attention and started to put on a show for the spectators – hanging upside-down from the branches, swinging on vines, climbing up cage walls and roaring beating his chest.

Soon, Daniel is drawing a sizable crowd.

One day, when Daniel was swinging on a vine to show off to some children, his hand slips and he goes flying over the wall into the lion’s den. He panicked. There was a huge lion not twenty feet away, and it looked very hungry. So the man in the gorilla suit started jumping up and down, screaming and yelling, “Help, help! Get me out of here! I’m not really a gorilla! I’m a man in a gorilla suit! Heeellp!” The lion quickly pounced on the man, held him down and said, “Will you SHUT UP! You’re going to get both of us fired!!!” (from WWW)

This morning as we finish our series “Behind Enemy Lines” we will encounter the real story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den.

Every once and a while, a believer emerges onto the scene who has an unusual disposition. This believer is plugged into the power of God and has deep roots of integrity. Because of that excellent spirit, he will be promoted and trusted. Because of that excellent spirit, he will be envied and attacked. This believer will respond to this attack like he has in the past, with unchanging conviction and practice.

This morning we are going to study an old hero of the faith, Daniel. He is no longer a kid taking a stand over his diet. He is now a servant in the King’s court who has lived through three different monarchs. Today we will see why God trusted him with a great amount of revelation regarding future events. As we study this story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den, we will find that Daniel learned to stay prayerful with an excellent spirit.

An Excellent Spirit Can Be Trusted

Daniel 6:1–3 KJV

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; 

And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. 

Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

Trusted With Power

  • 120 over the Kingdom

  • 3 Presidents over the 120

  • 1 over all these – Daniel

Trusted with secrets

Proverbs 11:13 KJV

A talebearer revealeth secrets: But he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

Proverbs 20:6 KJV

Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: But a faithful man who can find?

Trusted with truth

Proverbs 14:5 KJV

A faithful witness will not lie: But a false witness will utter lies.

Trusted with relationships

Proverbs 6:19 KJV

A false witness that speaketh lies, And he that soweth discord among brethren.

An Excellent Spirit will be Attacked Because of Envy

Daniel 6:4–9 KJV

Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. 

Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. 

Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. 

All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellers, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. 

Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. 

Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.

Proverbs 14:30 KJV

A sound heart is the life of the flesh: But envy the rottenness of the bones.

Proverbs 27:4 KJV

Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; But who is able to stand before envy?

 • Daniel was blameless when it came to any real dirt.

Philippians 2:14–15 KJV

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

 • The enemy must work to manufacture some kind of dirt.

 • Often the enemy uses flattery to seduce people against the excellent spirit.

Proverbs 20:19 KJV

He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: Therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.

 • The enemy will use personal weaknesses to manipulate opinions against the excellent spirit.

   • Pride

   • Lust

   • Greed

An Excellent Spirit will be Consistent


Daniel 6:10–12 KJV

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. 

Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 

Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

 Of the memorials in Westminster Abbey there is not one that gives a nobler thought than that inscribed on the monument to Lord Lawrence—simply his name, with the date of his death, and these words: “He feared man so little because he feared God so much.”

Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p. 283). Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

Regular – even when evil appears to win

Daniel 6:13–15 KJV

Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. 

Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. 

Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.

Psalm 74:10 KJV

O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? Shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?

There will be some unbelievers who really hope that there is reality behind the excellent spirit.

Daniel 6:16–20 KJV

Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. 

And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. 

Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him. 

Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 

And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

Difference between a conviction and a preference, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. A preference is a very strong belief, held with great strength. You can give your entire life in a full-time way to the service of the preference, and can also give your entire material wealth in the name of the belief. You can also energetically proselytize others to your preference. You can also want to teach this belief to your children, and the Supreme court may still rule that it is a preference. A preference is a strong belief, but a belief that you will change under the right circumstances. Circumstances such as: 1) peer pressure; if your beliefs are such that other people stand with you before you will stand, your beliefs are preferences, not convictions, 2) family pressure, 3) lawsuits, 4) jail, 5) threat of death; would you die for your beliefs? A conviction is a belief that you will not change. Why? A man believes that his God requires it of him. Preferences aren’t protected by the constitution. Convictions are. A conviction is not something that you discover, it is something that you purpose in your heart (cf. Daniel 1, 2-3). Convictions on the inside will always show up on the outside, in a person’s lifestyle. To violate a conviction would be a sin.

David C. Gibbs, Jr. Christian Law Association, P.O. Box 30290, Cleveland, Ohio 44130

God’s Power is Manifested Through an Excellent Spirit.

Daniel 6:21–22 KJV

Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. 

My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

 • He will deliver

 • He will destroy His enemies

Daniel 6:23–24 KJV

Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. 

And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

 • He will get the glory.

Daniel 6:25–28 KJV

Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. 

I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. 

He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. 

So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.


We make a terrible error when we think that God makes life easy just because we’re in His will or that the easy way is God’s way. We don’t follow Jesus or God’s will for our lives because it’s the EASY thing to do–we do it because it’s the RIGHT thing to do!

When we follow God’s way, it’s the BEST way, but it may be a DIFFICULT way:

* MOSES chose a path that got him criticism and ungratefulness his whole ministry.

* DANIEL chose a path that took him to the lion’s den.

* The THREE HEBREW MEN chose paths that took them into the fiery furnace.

* STEPHEN chose a path that led to martyrdom.

* PAUL chose a path that led to imprisonment and execution.

* CHRIST chose a path that led to the cross.

All these chose paths that were God’s plan for them–but their paths were not easy. God doesn’t promise us an easy trip, but He does promise to be with us as we follow it!

 Daniel 6:20–22 (KJV)

 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? 

 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. 

 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me…

Stay prayerful with an excellent spirit, even behind enemy lines.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:49 AM July 22, 2021.

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