Prayer of the Three Young Men in the Furnace

January 10, 1993
Brother John Raymond

	Around the year 500 B.C. King Nabuchodonosor of Babylonia had
 a tall golden statue made of a god. He ordered all the government
 officials from the provinces under his rule to come together for the
 dedication of the statue. All were ordered to fall down and worship
 the statue or else they would be instantly thrown into a furnace.
	At this time the kingdom of Israel was in exile in Babylonia.
 Three Jews, Sidrach, Misach and Abdenago had been made administrators
 by the king. When everyone else fell down to worship the statue they
 refused to do so. When the king heard about this he became very angry
 and sent for them. He repeated his threat of death if they did not
 comply. He said, "Who is the God that can deliver you out of my
	The three men still refused to comply. The king ordered the
 furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual. They were bound
 and cast into the furnace. "They walked about in the flames, singing
 to God and blessing the Lord."
	Upon seeing this miracle the king's men continued add fuel to
 the furnace so that the flames of the fire rose very high. An angel
 of God kept the flames away from Sidrach and his companions so that
 "the fire in no way touched them or caused them pain or harm." The
 king was astonished not only by the miracle but because he now saw
 four men in the fire. He realized the fourth man must be an angel of
 God. So the king went to an opening in the furnace and ordered the
 men to come out.
	When they came out everyone saw that "not a hair of their
 heads had been singed, nor were their garments altered; there was
 not even a smell of fire about them." King Nabuchodonosor was so
 moved by this miracle that he ordered that anyone who spoke against
 the God of Sidrach, Misach and Abdenago would be killed and his house
	While the three men were in the furnace they composed a
 beautifully inspired song asking all creation to bless the Lord. This
 song was prayed by a friend of ours who was fogged in at the airport.
 When he had completed the prayer the fog lifted and he was able to
 continue on his journey. This song can be a lesson for us to bless
 God in all the circumstances of our lives.


"Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord, praise and exalt Him above
 all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and exalt Him above all
You heavens, bless the Lord, praise and exalt Him above all forever.
All you waters above the heavens, etc.
All you hosts of the Lord,
Sun and moon,
Stars of heaven,
Every shower and dew,
All you winds,
Fire and heat,
Cold and chill,
Dew and rain,
Frost and chill,
Ice and snow,
Nights and days,
Light and darkness,
Lightnings and clouds,
Let the earth bless the Lord, praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Mountains and hills,
Everything growing from the earth,
You springs,
Seas and rivers,
You dolphins and all water creatures,
All you birds of the air,
All you beasts wild and tame,
You sons of men,
O Israel,
Priests of the Lord,
Servants of the Lord,
Spirits and souls of the just,
Holy men of humble heart,
Anania, Azaria, Misael, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him above
 all forever. For He has delivered us from the nether world, and saved
 us from the power of death; He has freed us from the raging flame and
 delivered us from the fire. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
 for His mercy endures forever. Bless the God of gods, all you who fear
 the Lord; praise Him and give Him thanks, because His mercy endures
 forever." Amen. (Materials are taken from the New American Bible
 Copyright 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington,
 D.C. and are used with permission. All rights reserved.)