Why did Daniel pray three times a day?
Why did the story of Daniel and friends start in the Babylon? And not in Israel?
He prayed because he knew that prayers were his strength. God is the source of his strength to get through each one third of his day.
He prayed not because he is religious. He prayed because he was in a relationship with the unlimited source of wisdom. I bet, as a minister of the most powerful country in his time, Daniel needed constant counsel in order to do the right things and make the best decisions for the country.
I imagine Daniel and God were like best friends. They could not stop messaging and put their smartphone away for a second. He wanted to make sure that God led his way.
Earlier I also wondered why the story of Daniel began in Babylon, a place for the exiled. I believe, it should start in Babylon not because it makes a more dramatic story but because it is about depending on God in the most hopeless place.
Before the invasion, Israel was already a chaotic place--unlike the time when King Salomon ruled. But at least, in Israel, Daniel was at home. He knew the culture, he had his families and friends, he was safe and secure, and he was not oppressed by anyone.
In Babylon, I cannot imagine the office politics, especially in a governmental institution where Daniel was assigned to. It must have been so dirty. Once Daniel put his guard down, he could be dead.
All these are merely my translation of Daniel's story. All I want to convey in this post is only a reminder to come to God each and every day and not only when worst things are happening in our lives. Maybe, we are now in the exile, we are far away from home, we cannot depend on the things that normally back us up, and we do not have strength to fight or any idea on how to solve the problem. Just like how Daniel needed God like he needed his vegetarian meals, do we need God that much? A possible explanation of why we do not need God that much is the likeliness that we are using our own strengths and efforts to solve it on our own. From personal experiences, it never got me out of my problems and mostly made me feel a great disappointment to myself. The only times when I felt victorious and glorious are the times when God brought me through.
Not by might, nor by power but by my spirit, said the Lord. Zec 4:6