Daniel 10:12-14 (NIV) — “Then he continued, ‘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 21 days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.’”
Just to be clear: My intention with this article is not to interpret the above Scripture passage of Daniel. Not to be cynical or critical, but it definitely seems our modern conveniences and technologies have groomed us to be a people of “instant, total gratification.”
And the reality is that a prayer life doesn’t work according to our wants but according to His will.
There’s a great deal of prophecy references in the book of Daniel. In our opening verses, “Daniel had a vision of an angel, who said, ‘Daniel don’t be afraid your words were heard.’” That’s what I’d like to focus on.
In the early 1990s, I was saved through faith in Christ, but in saying that, there were some realities along the way. One was a combination of prayer and spiritual warfare. Before I was saved, individuals would say such things as, “Have you prayed about it?” or “Prayer changes things — try it.” Whew! To an unbeliever floundering in hopelessness, that’s equivalent to handing a dehydrated person an empty cup of water.
I had awkwardly tried to pray as someone holding on to the single thread of hope. I often thought that saying prayers was like shooting arrows in the ceiling. But our God is merciful and guided me through my ignorance with tidbits of Scripture.
Jeremiah 29:13 — “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart.” So for each person, we each understand that in unison or completely different.
Personally, it was a matter of desperation. I was convinced I needed to break a cycle that had devastated the men in our family. And I desperately wanted to break that cycle. So I called out to the God I knew nothing about, “Why don’t you answer my prayers?
He slapped me almost immediately with James 4:3 (NIV) — “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
The New King James Version says it like this: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” The moment I read that verse of Scripture, it was like God had spoken to me personally. He heard me and replied. It wasn’t until later, while I was trying to learn how to study the Bible to mine the nuggets, to sharpen my sword, that I was able to make the connection of prayer life and spiritual warfare.
In 2 Kings 13:17, the prophet Elisha speaks about the “Lord’s arrow of Victory.” What that meant to me at the time was: Don’t let your prayers be feeble attempts. Push for victory! Have you heard this saying? “To have missed the mark is to have sinned.”
Connections: The NKJV says, “You ask amiss.” Then the quote “to miss the mark” I began to understand and make the association with Ephesian 6, which speaks and lists the Armor of God.
There is absolutely no doubt that the topic is prayer and spiritual warfare. Paul definitely lists and identifies who and how the enemy operates.
For this particular article, let’s look at verse 16 of Ephesians 6 — “In addition to all this, take up your shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Here’s my understanding. Our prayer life is a battlefield. Naturally, we don’t see it or feel it in tangible ways, but I am convinced we do see the results of it. When we pray, our enemy attacks our prayers. He fires the arrows or darts of doubt, darts of discouragement, disappointment and, of course, the “Dart of Delay.” I share all this to emphasize what many already perhaps instinctively know or have been taught — simply to highlight a spiritual principle.
Daniel 10:13 — “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 Persian.”