Monday, May 24, 2010

A Glimpse Behind The Prayer Veil

During the past couple of weeks the Lord has been teaching me much about prayer. Not only the power of prayer but how it works in the physical world as well as the spiritual realm. I wanted to share a fascinating truth from Scripture that I hope will bless your heart.

In the Book of Daniel, chapter 10, the Lord provides an in-depth look into prayer that is riveting and unlike any other passage in the Bible. At the start of this chapter, the prophet Daniel receives a disturbing message which prompts him to begin praying to understand its meaning. The text says he prays for three weeks and then is visited by an angel, who most scholars believe is Gabriel. It is at this point that Gabriel reveals to Daniel what has been happening in the spiritual world during the time he has been praying, “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.'” (10:12-14)

I have read several commentaries on these verses and they all agree that the prince of the kingdom of Persia who resisted Gabriel was an angel of Satan. Bearing this in mind, it is interesting to notice that as soon as Daniel began praying his prayer was heard and answered immediately by God who sent Gabriel. It is at this point that an intercepting agent of Satan (the prince of Persia) sought to detain Gabriel and perhaps would have restrained him even longer than 21 days if the Archangel Michael did not get involved in the battle. It is also worth mentioning that perhaps the answer may have been postponed even longer had Daniel grown weary of praying every day for three weeks.

This entire scenario that is revealed in Daniel perfectly pictures Ephesians chapter six where the Apostle Paul states that “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" (6:12) This is a powerful truth, isn’t it? As we beseech the throne room of God, spiritual forces are battling either on our behalf or against us. Given this reality, it is possible that one man or woman praying on earth can move angels into action.

Pastor David Jeremiah said on this subject of prayer that when Christ died on Calvary he sealed the fate of Satan once and for all. But the final execution of Satan’s judgment when he is bound and thrown in to the lake fire will not take place until the end of the world. In the meantime, it is up to the Church of Jesus Christ to enforce Satan’s judgment. But how do we do this? It is through the power of Christ’s death and resurrection that we have the power to thwart Satan’s plans by humbling ourselves, as Daniel did, before the throne room of God. Pastor Jeremiah went on to say that we should not pray deliver us from evil but deliver us from the evil one. So often, we pray for things and never pray against the powers of darkness. We are engaged in a battle, and if we are indeed wrestling against the powers of darkness as Paul states, than we need to engage in the conflict by praying against the forces that are seeking to destroy our churches, our families, and our young people.

I think often as Christians we feel defeated in prayer and do not realize the power we have to change our world. It is the prayers not the mayors that make the world go around.

So, let us approach the throne room of God boldly and execute what Paul tells us we have the power to do in 2 Corinthians, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (10: 3-5).

No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil; not that he practices it, but he suffers from it." - Guy H. King

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