Pray first, then pray…
The context around Pastor Andrew’s reference to God’s assessment of Daniel as a man “highly esteemed” in his message last Sunday is a three-week period Daniel spent in focussed prayer. Cyrus was now King in Persia and the first wave of exiles had returned to Jerusalem under Ezra. Daniel, now 84, was not among them and possibly felt he could be more helpful where he was, utilizing his now high position in government.
For whatever reason Daniel was in mourning, perhaps because so few had returned with Ezra, or the opposition Ezra experienced, or possibly Daniel was overwhelmed by all the preceding events and revelations. For three weeks now Daniel had disciplined himself. “I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over,” he records (10:3). He did this to humble himself, to bow himself low before the Almighty God to Whom he wept and prayed.
“A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said, ‘Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.’ And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.” (Dan. 10:10-11).
God broke in! Have you ever had “a hand touch you” like that? One that “sets you trembling,” and drops you to hands and knees, overcome by the magnitude of such a jolting encounter with forces that perhaps until now were only theological? These moments can come when we lower ourselves before God and seek Him with all our heart.
But what I want you to notice today is the divine messenger’s response:
“Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.” (Dan. 10:12-13).
We cannot imagine what goes on in heaven when we pray, what battles are being fought. Pray… keep on praying… then pray some more. God will be victorious!
“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17).
Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of life in Christ? Or, would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.