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” (Dan.10.12-14 NKJV).
The story about Daniel’s intercession in chapter 10 lends itself to another example of persevering prayer. Until we get to Daniel chapter 10:12-14 cited above, Daniel’s life has been one of relentless faith, unalloyed commitment to God and consistency in prayers. His track record in prayer notwithstanding, the prince of the Kingdom of Persia withstood him for twenty-one days until Angel Michael arrived to help him. If Satan could withstand Daniel, then, anyone of us could be resisted by the devil.
Daniel’s constant resort to prayers should not surprise anyone. His background as a Jewish captive in the palace of the king of Babylon left him with no better option than to learn to survive through prayer and to carve out a niche for himself and his Jewish compatriots. As an interpreter of dreams, he must have spent much time seeking God’s face for revelation, wisdom and skill to understand and interpret dreams.
In chapter two, we find Daniel seeking the God of heaven concerning the secret of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. And in chapter six, when a conspiracy was hatched against Him by the governors and satraps, who wanted to eliminate him by all means, we find him fearlessly resorting to prayer as he did at previous times.
“Daniel heard about the law, but when he returned home, he went upstairs and prayed in front of the window that faced Jerusalem. In the same way that he had always done, he knelt down in prayer three times a day, giving thanks to God. The men who had spoken to the king watched Daniel and saw him praying to his God for help” (Dan.6.10-11 NKJV).
The statement, “In the same way that he had always done, he knelt down in prayer three times a day, giving thanks to God” says it all about his devotion and lifestyle to prayer. To pray “three times a day, giving thanks to God” says a lot about his commitment. Persevering prayer must conform to certain routines and patterns of prayer in order to be effective. For Daniel that routine and pattern of prayer was done three times a day, morning, noon, and evening; in the morning, before he went out about the king’s business; at noon, when he returned home to dinner; and at evening, when all his work was done, and he was about to retire to bed.
In chapter nine, Daniel prayed and repented on behalf of the trespasses of the Jewish remnants and for the desolate city of Jerusalem. God responded by sending the Angel to give him a revelation of the Seventy Weeks being God’s calendar for the nations (Daniel 9:1-25).
Satan’s opposition to Daniel was therefore an attempt to stop him from receiving answers to his prayers, but God demonstrated his surpassing greatness over Satan, by sending Angel Michael to help Daniel overpower him. All told, we must recognize that God is always our helper even in prayer.
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