DANIEL 10:12-14: “Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.” (NKJV)
OBSERVATION: Will God ever answer my prayer? Have you ever felt that way? You pray in faith, you wait upon the Lord, and many times it seems like the answer is never coming. What is going on? Isn’t God listening? Doesn’t He care? What can we glean from the delays in Daniel’s prayer?
Daniel set his heart to pray and fast for three solid weeks!
- “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” (Daniel 10:2-3 NKJV)
The first mistake we often make concerning prayer is we think prayer is simply a one time event, and then the answer will come. We have lost the virtue of persevering and prevailing in prayer. Many today claim that this is an old fashioned concept that is both devoid of faith, and unnecessary. If we have enough faith, all we need to do is offer our prayer to God, believe, thank Him for it, and receive. Yet, this concept of prayer neglects to acknowledge that prayer is part of our spiritual armor and warfare!
- “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” (Ephesians 6:17-18 NKJV)
The next insight we gain is that persevering prayer always leads us to a focus and revelation of Jesus Christ! You can never come before the throne of God, spend time in His presence, without encountering and worshipping the glorified and risen Christ. In fact all prayer should be Christ centric!
- “Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.” (Daniel 10:4-6 NKJV)
When Daniel encountered the glorified Christ, as John did in the book of Revelation, he fell to his face as one overtaken by a deep sleep. A hand of a messenger (angel) then touched Daniel and lifted him up. When we encounter the presence of Christ, we are overcome by His glory. Yet, the Lord invites us into His presence, He lifts us up, and reminds us that it is a safe place to be. It is in His presence that we receive revelation about the true issues of life, and we understand the dynamics and delays of prayer.
- “Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.” (Daniel 10:12-13 NKJV)
There is an invisible spiritual warfare that is going on all around us in the heavenly places. Paul spoke about this in Ephesians 6 as he taught us about the importance of our spiritual armor and the need to persevere in prayer!
- “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:12-13 NKJV)
Now this is where we need to be careful. Many have taken these Scriptures and made detailed maps naming the spiritual hosts of darkness over the nations of the world. While this sounds sensational and exciting, it really is not our role. Note that the warfare is in the heavenlies, and not on earth. And also note that the messenger that spoke with Daniel was unable to resist the prince (spiritual demonic being) of the kingdom of Persia himself. He had to wait for the Archangel Michael to assist him. Wisdom and caution is needed here. God calls us to suit up in our spiritual armor and pray! I think it is best to leave the heavenly battle to God’s heavenly armies!
Yet in this battle of prayer, we see some wonderful truths that give us insight to the delay in our prayers! Note that the Lord heard Daniel the very first day that he began to pray – and that the answer to his prayer was dispatched immediately! If that is true, then why was Daniel led to persevere in prayer for 21 days? Because our prayers are engaged in partnership with God’s heavenly army! It was during these 21 days that the angel battled against the prince of Persia, and that the Archangel Michael was dispatched. The victory was won while Daniel persevered in prayer!
Yet, the answer to Daniel’s prayer did not come on the 21st day – but on the 24th day!
- “Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris,” (Daniel 10:4 NKJV)
During those three days, it might have seemed like an eternity to Daniel. He had fasted and prayer for 21 days! Surely the answer should have come! Yet, it did come, in God’s timing, and in God’s way. There is not a single prayer that we utter that falls to the ground. All of our tears shed in intercession are stored in a bottle before His throne. God always answers, and God always hears. Our call is to persevere in prayer, to prevail in prayer. This is the call to faith.
It is never a lack of faith to keep praying until the answer comes. Rather, it is a lack of faith to stop praying when the answer is delayed!
Lord, forgive me for the times I have given up and ceased praying. Cleanse me from the false pretense that Your answers are always immediate, and that if they don’t come on my time table, they will never come. Grant me the grace to persevere in prayer until I prevail in prayer, by the power of Your Holy Spirit!
And in all my prayer, may Jesus be the center of all!
In Jesus Name!