Small Group Studies

Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Week 6


If there was ever a situation described as "stuck between a rock and a hard place," it was Daniel's situation in Daniel 6. The king had been tricked into decreeing that no one pray to anyone else but himself, King Darius, for thirty days or be thrown into a den full of lions. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Daniel had to choose between his faith and his life. Today, we will study this story in Daniel 6 and be inspired by Daniel's utmost devotion to God over anything else.


When is a time prayer was particularly impactful for you?


Bible Study

1. What things today keep people from praying?


2. Read Daniel 6:1-5. What set Daniel apart from everyone else?

Daniel 6:1-5

"Darius the Mede decided to divide the kingdom into 120 provinces, and he appointed a high officer to rule over each province. 2 The king also chose Daniel and two others as administrators to supervise the high officers and protect the king's interests. 3 Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel's great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire.

4 Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn't find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. 5 So they concluded, "Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion."

3. Read Daniel 6:6-14. What was at stake if Daniel disobeyed the king's demand? What was at stake if Daniel obeyed?

Daniel 6:6-14

"So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, "Long live King Darius! 7 We are all in agreement-we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors-that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human-except to you, Your Majesty-will be thrown into the den of lions. 8 And now, Your Majesty, issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed, an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked." 9 So King Darius signed the law.

10 But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. 11 Then the officials went together to Daniel's house and found him praying and asking for God's help. 12 So they went straight to the king and reminded him about his law. "Did you not sign a law that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human-except to you, Your Majesty-will be thrown into the den of lions?"

"Yes," the king replied, "that decision stands; it is an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked."

13 Then they told the king, "That man Daniel, one of the captives from Judah, is ignoring you and your law. He still prays to his God three times a day."

14 Hearing this, the king was deeply troubled, and he tried to think of a way to save Daniel. He spent the rest of the day looking for a way to get Daniel out of this predicament."

4.Read Daniel 6:15-27. What happened as a result of Daniel's obedience?

Daniel 6:15-27

"In the evening the men went together to the king and said, "Your Majesty, you know that according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, no law that the king signs can be changed."

16 So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, "May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you."

17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn't sleep at all that night.

19 Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions' den. 20 When he got there, he called out in anguish, "Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?"

21 Daniel answered, "Long live the king! 22 My God sent his angel to shut the lions' mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty."

23 The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.

24 Then the king gave orders to arrest the men who had maliciously accused Daniel. He had them thrown into the lions' den, along with their wives and children. The lions leaped on them and tore them apart before they even hit the floor of the den.

25 Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world:

"Peace and prosperity to you!

26 "I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel.

For he is the living God,
and he will endure forever.
His kingdom will never be destroyed,
and his rule will never end.
27 He rescues and saves his people;
he performs miraculous signs and wonders
in the heavens and on earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions."


1. When it comes to Daniel's attitude and reputation, what stands out to you the most?

2. Is there any area of your life that is not devoted to God? If so, what is that area?

3. What situation are you currently facing where you need the faith of Daniel?

Moving Forward

Let's follow Daniel's example and pray together today. First, thank God for what He has done for you and the gifts He has given each of you. Then, pray about the situations where you need Daniel's faith. Finally, pray that God would give you courageous faith in all situations and that He would help you as you walk through them.

Going Deeper

Daniel understood the importance of prayer. Clearly, prayer is vital for the Christian life. After all, prayer is our way to have a conversation with God. While we know that prayer is vital, some of us might wonder what to pray when we pray. Let’s look at Scripture to learn what we can pray for when we pray.

We can praise God.

God desires to hear our praises. While we may be tempted to begin our prayers with our desires and needs, we must not forget to offer praises to God. After all, He is so good and worthy of our praise. Look at David’s prayer of praise to God in Psalm 63.

1. Read Psalm 63:1-5.

Psalm 63:1-5

"O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy."

2. What did David praise God for in this passage of Scripture?

3. What is David's response to what He wrote about God in this passage of Scripture?

4. Describe the impact of focusing our prayers of praise to God?

We can confess our sin:

While we are living on this earth, we will always struggle with sin. Prayer allows us to confess our sin to God. When we confess our sins, He offers His forgiveness and peace. Because of this, confession is a vital element to prayer. 

1. Read Proverbs 28:13.

Proverbs 28:13

"People who conceal their sins will not prosper,
but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy."

2. Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

3. What is the result of concealing sin? How have you seen this to be true in your own life?

4. What is the result of confessing sin? How have you found this to be true in your own life?

5. How can confessing sin become a habit in your own life? 

We can pray about our needs:

As our perfect Heavenly Father, God cares about our needs. He desires to hear about what is on our minds. As it has been said, what matters to you matters to Him.

 1. Read Philippians 4:6-7.

Philippians 4:6-7

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

2. Summarize the instructions found in this verse.

3. What is the result of bringing your needs to God?

We can pray for each other:

One of our privileges as Christ followers is the privilege to pray for each other. We get to come before God on behalf of our loved ones. Because of this, we must make it a habit to pray for the people in our lives. 

1. Read Ephesians 6:18.

Read Ephesians 6:18

 "Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere."

1. How are we to pray for others according to this passage of Scripture?

2. When is a time when someone prayed for you? How did that impact you?

3. When is a time when you prayed for someone? How did that impact you and the person you prayed for?

Take a few minutes to reflect on the Scripture you studied about prayer.

1. Which of the things we studied to pray for comes most naturally to you?

2. Which of the things we studied to pray about needs improvement?

3. After studying Scripture, why is prayer vital?

Take time to pray for each other. Divide into groups of two or three and share requests and prayer for each other. Commit to continue praying for each other throughout the week.

MONTHLY MEMORY VERSE (Available for download on Sagebrush App)

And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6