Daniel 10:12-13 “Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.”
It is common teaching on prayer that there are three answers: Yes, No, and Wait a while. Our ability to discern the correct answer becomes clouded when we do not understand what happens when we pray.
God gives us the assurance that we are heard.
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
Jesus teaches that everyone who asks, everyone who seeks, and everyone who knocks WILL receive a response.
As I read this passage in Daniel, I am reminded of the spiritual battles that ensue when we pray. Daniel’s prayers were hindered because a prince in Satan’s army had the power to hold up the messenger sent to deliver God’s answer.
God is all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient), and everywhere all at the same time (omnipresent). His purpose and plans for our lives are perfect. Knowing this, we must believe that God can and will answer in the most ideal time.
We get anxious thinking that we need the answer sooner than God gives because first, we lack faith enough to trust. Second, we grow impatient because we want to be in control, masters of our own destiny.
So how does one know that their prayers are hindered by one from Satan’s army?
The short answer is that we cannot know unless it is revealed to us by God through the messenger He sends. We are given a glimpse here in Daniel of the prayer Daniel prayed, and the answer sent immediately only to be slowed by the prince of Persia.
It is as if God pulls back the curtain on the spiritual realm and allows us a peek as to the “why.”
Because it is truly out of our control, we must rely on faith to see us through. Jesus assures us:
Matthew 21:21-22 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
What we may ask or need may seem impossible to us, but not to God.
Mark 10:27 “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”
Often, we pray with a specific answer in mind. We pray that our loved ones might be healed from cancer, wounds, or an emotionally devastating situation only to see them taken from us. We fail to understand the sovereignty of God in those moments because our hearts have suffered a significant loss.
In light of scripture, we can see that loss as Heaven’s gain.
Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”
2 Corinthians 5:8 “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
Yet, it still takes faith to believe that God will keep His Word.
What is your experience with hindered prayers? Are you still awaiting an answer?
Persistency or importunity allows us to continue in faith. I have seen prayers answered that took fifty years to answer. How willing are we to stand in the gap for those whose lives depend on our answer to prayer? Can we intercede long enough to await the reply? Or are we discouraged because the answer hasn’t come?
The battlefield of this type of prayer is fought within our minds. Our enemy knows the power of a praying saint. He’s met with a Daniel enough to know where to put his most potent forces.
When we fail and falter in our prayers for others, Satan wins. We have God’s promises to stand on when we approach the throne room.
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Coming boldly on behalf of others allows us a privileged place with our Heavenly Father. Daniel was known as a man “greatly beloved.”
Daniel 10:11 “And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved…“
Just as the centurion, our faith can cause God to marvel. Our faith can move mountains. Our faith can help, heal, and hinder. We must be willing to allow our faith to be put where it can do the most good.
Not in the strength of our mind or body, but in our God. God wants us to prove Him. Not just to grow faith in our hearts. He wants us to tell others of the life-transforming power of the God we serve.
Prayer allows us a vehicle for Him to display His power through answers that only He can fulfill.