Daniel was now an old man and well into his eighties, yet he faced one of the greatest challenges of his life. Similar to the theme in Daniel chapter 3, worship again becomes a central issue. While Daniel was not present at the test on the plain of Dura in chapter 3, chapter 6 removes any questions of his fidelity to God.

A decree was made that anyone worshiping anyone other than the king for thirty days would be thrown to the lions. That first morning, Daniel knew that opening his windows and praying to God would mean his death. But Daniel would rather die than miss his devotions.

Daniel’s example leaves a legacy of practical principles for a devotional life. First, Daniel’s level of commitment was absolute. Devotions were the highest priority of his day. Everything else was secondary. He had a lifetime to develop this crucial habit that made him successful in his professional as well as spiritual life. Second, Daniel had a regular time and place for personal devotions. This regularity became a central ritual for his daily life, one that provided him with strength, motivation, direction, and passion.

Daniel’s devotional life became the bedrock of his legacy of faithfulness. The same is true for God’s people living in the last days—the devotional life of God’s last-day people will be the anchor for their faithfulness and fidelity to God.

Practical pointers for the devotional life:

  • Ask the Lord to create in you a deeper desire for Him.
  • Set a regular time and place to have devotions.
  • Pray before you begin, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.
  • Choose a passage of Scripture. You can start off with practical books like 1 Thessalonians or James.
  • Paraphrase the passage in your own words in your journal or on a sheet of paper.
  • Ask God, “Lord, what are You trying to tell me through this passage?”
  • Write your prayer response to God.
  • Think about the Bible passage throughout the day.

Take baby steps. Begin with just a few minutes a day and increase over time. If you miss a day or days, don’t be discouraged. Just start up again. Your goal is not to achieve a great track record—it’s about trajectory. Pray that God will create in you a deeper desire for Him.