Daniel, Faith, and the Power of Prayer

Alcione Giacomitti

From the revised and expanded edition of my book Cidadania do Espírito [Citizenship of the Spirit], which Elevação Publishing House will briefly launch, I bring you an extract from my interview with writer Alcione Giacomitti for his book Os Pilares da Sabedoria de um Novo Mundo [The Pillars of Wisdom of a New World] (2001):

I often say that the miracle that God expects from human (and spiritual) beings is that they learn to love one another. And Prayer is a powerful tool for this urgent metamorphosis, inasmuch as prayer is the food of the Soul and Love is the substance of Justice and Peace. This is so true that it inspired Melanchthon (1497-1560), an educator and Lutheran theologian, to pen this precious manifestation: “Trouble and perplexity drive me to prayer, and prayer drives away perplexity and trouble.

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Prophet Daniel, famous for interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Book of Daniel, chapter 2), never doubted the Lord of the Universes. He proved the strength that came from his supreme conviction in the Heavenly Father. He did not hesitate, not even when Darius the Mede signed an edict that condemned those who worshipped any god or man other than the king himself to the lions’ den. In this episode, we see the sovereign of Babylon being induced maliciously by his cunning princes, who desired to find some kind of violation of the impeccable conduct of the person who would be promoted to become administrator of the entire kingdom. This did not prevent Daniel from revering the Creator, praying on his knees, as was his habit, three times a day. When the prophet was denounced by those who planned his downfall, Darius, with regret and lamentation, sentenced him to death, even though he unsuccessfully tried to avoid such an enormous injustice. He agonized, therefore, in his palace and spent the night fasting. In the morning, he went quickly to the place of martyrdom and witnessed the miraculous fact.

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Without so much as a scratch, Daniel was praising him thus: “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before Him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.

It is unnecessary to describe how happy Darius was and in the hard and crude way of that time, which sometimes seems like those of today, the prophet’s accusers and their families were thrown to the claws of the lions.

After this, the king called on the people to worship the God of Daniel, because He was the living God that endures eternally, whose reign cannot be destroyed (Daniel 6).

The Apostle Paul wrote that “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

José de Paiva Netto is a writer, journalist, radio broadcaster, composer, and poet. He is the President of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), effective member of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI) and of the Brazilian International Press Association (ABI-Inter). Affiliated to the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Union of Professional Journalists of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Writers of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Radio Broadcasters of Rio de Janeiro, and the Brazilian Union of Composers (UBC). He is also a member of the Academy of Letters of Central Brazil. He is an author of international reference in the concept and defense of the cause of Ecumenical Citizenship and Spirituality which, according to him, constitute “the cradle of the most generous values that are born of the Soul, the dwelling of the emotions and of the reasoning enlightened by intuition, the atmosphere that embraces everything that transcends the ordinary field of matter and comes from the elevated human sensitivity, such as Truth, Justice, Mercy, Ethics, Honesty, Generosity, and Fraternal Love.”