Prayer: Lifting the curtain
What a blessed place when we see the unseen, and start to look at life and all it’s challenges and temptations with our spiritual eyes!
B) What happens when we pray (behind the scenes)
Daniel has just seen the glory of the One he prays to, and is now about to learn more about what happens when we pray
10 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. 11And 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.
12Then 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. 13But 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. 14Now 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."
A second being now send to help Daniel
Touches Daniel and helps him to his feet
Daniel stood trembling and shaking
Then the Angel revealed to him everything about prayer! Surely this has been given also to us to show us what happens when we pray.
Not only is the King of Kings there, but also helping angels
14Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
Angels are ready to be sent by God to do His work, when we pray!
We can not command angels, but we can certainly request from God. And he commands!
Now verse 12: "…Daniel, for from the first day… your words were heard…"
Firstly: Our prayers are heard: IMMDEDIATELY!
"…and I have come because of your words…"
Secondly: When was the answer sent: IMMEDIATELY!
Child of God be assured tonight…..Your prayer has already been heard at the Throne, and an answer has been send!
Thirdly: Delays is possible!
Verse 13: "…13But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days…"
You see there are not only good angels, but also fallen angels, trying to oppose and delay God’s work!
12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Fourthly: God answer will never be too late!
"…and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me…"
God will muster all the force needed, as long as faith remains!
Next time you pray, know you are involved in Heavenly warfare, know that God hears you, and answers immediately, know that you should remain in prayer, and keep faith, and know that God’s answer will never be too late! (Satan and all his forces were defeated on a lonely hill called Calvary!)
That is why prayer is so vitally important, keep on praying, keep the faith!
1 Timothy 2:1-2
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
So if you agree tonight that we should believe in prayer
Then don’t speak to me…
Speak to God more and more
2. Physical realm:
C) How does our prayer affect those we pray for
15When he had spoken such words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless. 16And suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to him who stood before me, "My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength. 17For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me."
Here we can see that the prayer has a terrible physical effect on Daniel, he had no strength and he was overcome with sorrow (the Afrikaans Bible says, he was overcome with cramps)
It serves as a reminder to us, that prevailing prayer has a high cost on us, let me tell you anybody that says that prayer is not hard work, has never worked hard at prayer.
It is hard to work, sometimes we don’t feel like praying, and there are times that it is absolute agony to pray!
Paul says in:
2 Corinthians 4
12So then death is working in us, but life in you.
And that is a commentary on prayer!
You see it is possible for you to go through agony on my behalf! I don’t feel, nor is even aware of the agony, BUT yet I get the blessing, of it!
Parents you can do this for your children, children you can do this for your parents. You got a child, a brother, a sister, parents, who is on the way to make a terrible mistake, and you have talked to them, advised them, even yelled at them, but they are going ahead, blinded to the mistake they are going to make. You feel that you can not stop them…. Well You CAN. Death can be at work in you, BUT God will work life in them!
Start praying earnestly for them…. pray as if it is for your soul you are crying out for mercy! Pray!
Glory to God, what a tremendous thing this is! Oh to enter into spiritual combat, this really vital fight of faith…in order to accomplish what would never be done otherwise!
D) How does it affect ourselves
Hallelujah, prayer is not only all about weakness and mystery, there is a ministry to us in it as well! Let’s look together at the last scene.
18Then again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me. 19And he said, "O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!" So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, "Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me."
Daniel is strengthened, and we are told exactly how!
"Fear not", remember this was a troubled man, and now all the reason for fear has been removed!
There is 3 factors: 1. "peace be toy you", 2. be strong and 3. Yes, be strong (be of good courage (NASB))
That is what prayer does to the one that prays!
It brings peace to the soul
It brings strength to the body
And it brings courage to the Spirit.
The whole man, body, soul and spirit have been ministered to!
6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
PEACE: that wonderful sense that all is right, even though nothing has changed!
Peace: the same Daniel had!
Yes, indeed it gives strength to the body, and it gives courage to the will, it restores the Spirit.
And you are ready to battle again, ready to pray again, ready to battle in the spiritual realm again!
That is what prayer does!
I pray that after tonight, you will never look at prayer the same old way again, it will become a passion, and that you will realize spiritual battles are fought and won, because a saint humbled himself before God Almighty in faithful prayer!
God bless you and keep you, and make his countenance shine on you!
To God all the GLory
Let’s lift the curtain on Prayer
Opening: How does prayer work?
Are there messengers transporting the actual words to God?
Why don’t I feel like praying, and yet after praying feels so much better?
Why are my prayers not getting answered?
I believe we have all asked some or all of the above questions sometimes of another, maybe we are asking some tonight, all over the world people, children of God are asking these and similar questions, all about prayer.
Illustration: Have you ever been to a play, and seen the curtains close, and on re-opening, even just a few moments later, the stage looks different, new props are in place, and wondered, how on earth did they do that? And then by accident somebody moves that old big curtain, ever so slightly and for a few moments, you are able to see… people moving the props, the set put into place, actors taking positions; and the mystery is solved, now you know how the stage got changed!
Well today as we turn to God’s Word, not only are we going to find answers from God’s word for the questions asked, but in the book of Daniel, chapter 10, the curtain is going to be moved, and we will see a glimpse of what happens when we pray.
Let’s examine together:
a) Who do we pray to (how do our prayer get to Heaven?)
b) What happens when we pray (behind the scenes)
c) How does our prayer affect those we pray for
d) How does it affect ourselves
Read Daniel 10: 1 - 21
Pray God’s blessing on the public reading of His Word and the ears reached by it.
1. Spiritual realm
A) Who do we pray to (how do our prayer get to Heaven?)
Lets look at Daniel
He is a man of prayer, we see him pray 3 times per day, he prayed in his room, he prayed in the lions den, he prayed for wisdom, he prayed for guidance, he prayed for the sins of his nation, but here we see him pray, like us because he is troubled. He is concerned, for 21 days he fasted, and he got some friends to pray with him.
It is important to note that this is around the date that the prophet Jeremiah prophesied and told Israel, their exile would end - their 70-year period of captivity. But nothing happened. See the Jews, a nation known to be sheepkeepers, has now in exile become shopkeepers, and they were doing well, and were not keen to go back.
But Daniel knew that his people needed to repent, to obey, and to return to the place (physical and spiritual) where God can bless them abundantly. (Don’t we still fall for that trick from Satan) So he was praying with his friends for God to stir His people up to return to the Promised Land.
4Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, 5I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! 6His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.
GLORY TO GOD!
Think for a second what if something like this would happen at our prayermeeting?
As Daniel and his friends were praying, SUDDENLY in there midst, this amazing figure stood!
First Question: Who could this be?
Remember John the Apostle on the island Patmos?
12Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
Second Question: Did Jesus Christ just decide to do a quick visit, or what exactly happened here?
There is another place in the Word that will answer this very important question:
Elisha and his servant in 2 Kings chapter 6
The King of Syria wanted Elisha killed, and he send his army, who entered Dothan at night, and when the servant went out the next morning, to his shock they were surrounded by the enemy’s forces,
Let’s read together
2 Kings 6:14-18
14Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?"
16So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 17And Elisha prayed, and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Lord, I pray open his eyes! No he was not blind, but like us his fleshly eyes could not penetrate through the curtain, could not see the spiritual.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
1 John 4:4
…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Do you get it, Jesus was there all the time, while Daniel and his friends were praying!
He is our midst tonight, he is next to a saint when he goes on his knees to pray to God, he is in the midst where 2 or 3 meet in His name!
Yes He is here tonight!
Glory to God!
Next time you pray and it feels as if your prayer can go no higher that the ceiling in your room, the next time Satan lies to you and tell you, you are alone, tells you, you are defeated, tells you, you are a loser, tells you, you can just as well give up…….
KNOW this the King of the Kings, the Lord supreme….is next to you!, is with you, His holy Spirit lives in you., child of God! (Heb 13:5-6 For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."6So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper;
I will not fear. What can man do to me?") Turn to Him in prayer!