Lion’s Den Survival Principles is a series designed to help Christians thrive in the often hostile world of media and entertainment. The principles from Scripture, however, can apply to every situation where you find yourself in the midst of lions!
|Dr. Larry Poland|
Praying Before all Else Has Failed
“ . . . Daniel urged his friends to plead for mercy from the God of Heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.”
— Daniel 2:18 (NIV)
I have an idea for a sign I think will sell well in Hollywood. It reads, “Why pray when you can panic?”
In the fast-paced, high-pressure, insecurity-ridden world of professional media, panic seems to push out prayer by an overwhelming factor. In research by Lichter, Lichter, and Rothman into the world of the media elite, it was discovered that the media pros seldom or never pray.
In his hostile environment, Daniel seemed to have the art of “prayer over panic” mastered even as he had other crucial principles of successful living. In fact, he had a well-organized prayer support group!
Survival Principle: Have a godly support group to go to for spiritual support and accountability.
Nebuchadnezzar, in a fit of anger, had just pronounced the death sentence on all of the “magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers” and “all the wise men of Babylon” because they couldn’t tell him (a) what his dream was and (b) the meaning of it. He had decreed that they all be “cut into pieces” and their houses “turned into piles of rubble.”
If you were in one of these groups, this could spoil your whole day! This would be worse even than losing your job, not getting the part, missing the big contract, not having your show green-lighted at the network or having the financing on your feature film fall through, now wouldn’t it?
After Daniel got more information and had exercised his individual faith by asking the King for time to get the answer, Daniel knew where to go. He went to his godly friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah AKA Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He’d been with these guys since they were dragged in chains from Jerusalem. They’d gone through the “King’s diet crisis” together, the one recorded in chapter one. They would later face the “Bow down or burn” crisis. Daniel, with all his competency and confidence, knew he had to have friends to whom he could go for support.
I am weary of watching bright-eyed, committed young Christian men and women come to Hollywood only to be chewed up and spit out by the Enemy. In fifteen years, you can be sure I have seen more than my share. I also have seen a number who for one or two decades have kept their faith, their convictions, and even their virginity. The difference between these two classes of believers is that the second group has maintained a small support group of spiritual people to whom to go when it’s Panic City.
People who enter professional media often are competent, independent, self-starting, confident, and (dare I say it?) arrogant people. This kind of person often thinks he doesn’t need anybody else. Wrong, wrong, wrong!
Survival Principle: Mobilize prayer and then listen for the answer.
Daniel “urged [his friends] to plead for mercy from the God of Heaven concerning this mystery.” They did so, and then they listened for the answer. It came to Daniel in the middle of the night.
Media professionals are talkers, communicators. They’re not known for being great listeners. When you face a panic situation, make your request of the Lord and then shut up and listen until the answer comes—even if you have to listen for what seems to you to be an interminable length of time. P. S. When God does give the answer, spend a generous amount of time praising Him for the answer like Daniel did in verses 19-23!
After all, “Why panic when you can pray . . . and praise?”
Like to have the entire collection of Dr. Poland’s words of wisdom from the book of Daniel? Then purchase “Lion’s Den Survival Principles” (the book) with 25 chapters and 58 survival principles. Order for $11.00 including shipping and handling from 330 Sixth Street, Redlands, CA 92374, or call 800-552-1248 to order.