Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 99

Fervent Prayer continued...

Some time after Gabriel’s first intervention, Daniel prays again, but this time his answer is not as quick in coming as was his first. Once more, there are lessons to be learned here…lessons we would be wise to receive and appropriate.

Daniel 10:1-3, “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a great message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision. 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.”

I have found solace in this scripture passage more times than I could count, especially in the phrase, ‘the message was true, but the appointed time was long.’

The first time I truly meditated upon this section of the book of Daniel, was after receiving a word of prophecy through a vessel. It was shortly after my grandfather’s passing and the continuity of the ministry was in question as I did not desire to continue it, believing I had served enough, sacrificed enough, and labored enough, when I received a word concerning what the future held for the ministry. The word itself seemed so improbable, it seemed so out of step with what we were currently experiencing, that I began to have doubts concerning its veracity.

‘I know God can do what this person said He would do,’ I would think to myself, ‘but can it really happen?’

I had received words of prophecy through this vessel before, and they had all been accurate, but since doubt still threatened to take root in my heart, I went to the word of God for the answer, and opened my Bible to the aforementioned passage in Daniel.

It was as though the words, ‘The message was true, but the appointed time was long’ burned brightly, and lifted themselves off the page. It was the only confirmation I needed, and I have held to this word and the promises thereof since that time onward.

If anyone ever tells you that a thirty second prayer will suffice no matter the issue you bring before the Lord, just send them to this scripture passage, and make sure to highlight the part about Daniel being in mourning three full weeks.

The greatest takeaway from this passage is pray until God answers!

This is the essence of fervent prayer, the essence of passionate prayer, the fact that we do not give up and move on, we do not curtail our prayers, we do not find something else to do…we continue to pray until God answers.

Daniel did not give up after the first day, or the third day, or the first week, but for three weeks, until he received his answer, Daniel stood before the Lord.

Daniel 10:10-12, “Then, suddenly a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, ‘O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.’ While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. 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.’”

Although it took the angel Gabriel three weeks to arrive with a message this time around, the first day Daniel set his heart on understanding and humbled himself before God, his words had been heard.

Even if we don’t receive an answer from God on the first day, or during the first prayer, we must know – and in fact be certain – that God has heard our words. The instant we humble ourselves before God, the instant we set our heart upon something which is in accordance with His will, we will be heard.

The angel Gabriel had come because of Daniel’s words, and when he finally arrived, Daniel was so weakened that he trembled when Gabriel touched him. By what Gabriel told Daniel, we can also infer that he was lying prostrate, as Daniel was commanded to stand upright.

As the conversation progressed, Gabriel also told Daniel why he had been delayed in bringing his answer, and it was not because he just didn’t feel like making the trip, or was busy doing other things.

Daniel 10:13, “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.”

By what the angel Gabriel said to Daniel, we understand that he was dispatched as soon as Daniel’s prayer was uttered, but he was withstood for the entire three weeks Daniel pleaded with God.

Seeing as to withstand is to ‘oppose with force or resolution,’ we know Gabriel wasn’t having tea with the prince of the kingdom of Persia, or with the kings of Persia for that matter.

The answer to Daniel’s prayer was delayed because there was a spiritual battle going on in the unseen realm. Angels were battling demons, demons were resisting angels, war was being waged, and all so Daniel’s answer to his prayer would not reach him.

It is only when we realize the lengths to which God and the heavenly realm will go in order to answer a prayer, that we realize just how much God loves us.

When we are as Daniel in our prayers, when we persist and fervently seek after an answer from God until it arrives, we will receive an answer as Daniel did, even if that answer might be delayed due to the enemy’s resistance.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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