Thanksgiving is here. I am reminded to be thankful, not only during the Thanksgiving holidays, but every day.
Daniel was a wonderful example of someone who practiced thanksgiving every day.
“Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.” - Daniel 6:10
#1) Daniel had a discipline of giving thanks
Daniel was one of the three ruling commissioners in King Darius’ kingdom and he must have been so busy with meetings and responsibilities. Yet Daniel had the discipline to pray and thank God no matter how busy he was.
I want to apply this practically to my work week. My time in the office can be pretty busy. Once I start my meetings and emails, the day is suddenly over before I know it. I want to do a better job of taking a break in the middle of the day and talking to God, like Daniel.
#2) Daniel gave thanks despite the circumstances
In the context of this verse, Daniel’s enemies had convinced King Darius to pass a decree that everyone must worship the king alone. Anyone who worshipped any other god would be put to death. Daniel was not on a relaxing vacation when he gave thanks. He was going to die! It is amazing to see that even this did not stop Daniel’s habit of giving thanks.
If I were Daniel and I found out that I am going to be killed, I think my prayer would have been 100% praying for help and 0% giving thanks. None of my problems are nearly as serious as what Daniel faced so I should certainly be able to give thanks in all my circumstances.
Practically, I want to have a better “asking” vs “giving thanks” ratio in my prayer life. I find it so easy to keep on asking God for things. There is nothing wrong with asking the Father for help, but I want that “giving thanks” portion to increase much more.
#3) Daniel gave thanks to God with reverence
Daniel is now an old man, probably around 90 years old, and I love how he prayed on his knees. It is not easy for an older man to kneel down! My point is not that we have to kneel down all the time, but Daniel had a reverence towards God when he prayed and gave thanks.
The verse also says how Daniel gave thanks to his God. The verse did not say the God of Israel or the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was his God. It speaks of a very personal relationship that Daniel had with God.
Daniel never lost this reverence towards God despite all his earthly accomplishments. Daniel was one of the top rulers in the country. A lot of people must have bowed before him and given him tremendous respect. Yet all this did not puff him up. When he went before God, he got on his knees and knew he was a nothing before God. He gave thanks in reverence to his God.
Practically, I want to do a better job of showing reverence to the Lord by thanking Him after He has answered prayer. When my little daughter grows up, I will teach her to say “thank you” when others do things for her. But what happens when God does something for me? I find it so easy to forget to say “thank you” after answered prayer, and I want to do better in this area.
In conclusion, I want to celebrate Thanksgiving 365 days a year, like Daniel, and I believe God will make this a reality in my life.