This prayer is an addition to the Greek version of the Book of Daniel. It is inserted in chapter 3 between verses 23 and 24. Azariah, the Hebrew name of Shadrach, with his friends, Meshach and Abednego, were thrown into the fiery furnace because they refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image.
The prayer of Azariah 1:2-23
They walked in the midst of the fire, praising God. Azariah stood among the flames and began to pray aloud: Blessed are You and worthy of praise, Y’hovah, the God of our fathers, Your Name is glorious forever. Just is the sentence in all that You have brought on Your people and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our ancestors, true and just is the sentence You have passed on us because of our sins. We had broken Your Laws in rebellion, we did not heed Your Commandments, we failed to do what You had given us for our own good. Now You have handed us over to our enemies, those wicked peoples and so we are reduced to silence, shame and disgrace has befallen Your people.
For the sake of Your honour do not abandon us forever, do not annul Your Covenant. Do not withdraw Your mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham; Your friend, for the sake of Isaac; Your servant and for Israel; Your holy one. You promised them that their descendants would be as numerous as sand on the seashore. Yet, Lord, we are all now in exile, for our sins we are brought low. Now we have no ruler, no prophet, there is no place we can make offerings to obtain mercy. But because we come with a contrite heart and a humbled spirit, may we be accepted? As though we come with thousands of whole offerings, let this sacrifice be made before You this Day: that we will obey You in everything, for no shame will come to those who put their trust in You. We will now follow You with our whole heart and in fear seek Your Presence. Do not put us to shame, but deal with us in Your forbearance and great mercy. Y’hovah, Creator of all things, deliver us and let Your Name be glorified.
May all who harm Your servants be brought low, let them be stripped of all power and sovereignty and may their strength be crushed. Let them know that You alone are the Lord God, glorious over all the earth. Ref: REB Apocrypha
The three friends said to King Nebuchadnezzar:
Daniel 3:17 If there is a God who is able to save us from the blazing furnace; it is our God, whom we serve, He will deliver us.
Now, as we near the end of the decreed exile of the House of Israel, the Lord will once again take action in His creation, with the many prophesied judgement of fire, that will destroy His enemies. But to those who call on His Name, who have a contrite heart and a humble spirit, those who put their trust in God, then when the terrible Day of the Lord’s vengeance and wrath strikes the earth with ‘blazing heat and consuming fire’, then this prayer would be one to pray with fervent sincerity.
Zephaniah 2:3, Isaiah 43:1-4, 1 Peter 1:5,