The new king, Darius, sat on his throne surrounded by servants. “These are my orders,” he began. “I am going to divide my kingdom into 120 parts. Each part will have a prince to help me rule over it. And there will be three men in charge of the princes. Daniel will be one of them.” Daniel did his job very well, so the king planned to put him in charge of the entire kingdom.
When the other princes heard about this, they did not like it. “Let’s get Daniel in trouble,” they whispered together secretly. “We’ll catch him doing something wrong, and we’ll tell the king.”
But although they watched Daniel carefully every day, they could not find him doing anything wrong.
“I have a new plan!” one prince announced. He huddled together with the other jealous men, and then they went to the king.
“Long live King Darius!” the princes said, bowing low. “We think you should make a new law that for the next 30 days the people can pray only to you. And if anyone disobeys, they should be thrown into the lions’ den.”
King Darius liked to have people bow down before him. And if the king made a law, it could not be changed. So he agreed.
The princes smiled as they left the king. “Now we can catch Daniel! Everybody knows that Daniel prays three times a day with the window wide open.”
The princes watched. Soon they saw Daniel praying, not to the king, but to his God. They hurried to the king. “Daniel is still praying to his God,” they reported.
King Darius now realized that the princes had asked him to make the law so they could get rid of Daniel. King Darius liked Daniel. But the king had made the law. He had to keep it. Daniel had to go into the lions’ den. “May the God whom you serve save you!” the king exclaimed to Daniel as the soldiers took him away.
All that evening King Darius worried about Daniel. And when he went to bed, he couldn’t sleep. As soon as the sun peeked over the land, the king hurried to the lions’ den. “Daniel! Has your God saved you from the lions?” he shouted.
“O king, live forever!” Daniel called back. “My God sent His angel to shut the lions’ mouths!”
King Darius smiled as the soldiers lifted Daniel out of the lions’ den. He hurried back to his palace and wrote a letter to be read to everyone in his kingdom. “Daniel’s God is the living God,” the king wrote. “His God can rescue and save people. His God saved Daniel from the lions!”
King Darius’ law couldn’t stop Daniel from praying. The lions couldn’t stop Daniel from praying. God heard Daniel’s prayers. God hears your prayers, too.