I use to be one of the people who believed God wanted to talk to everyone except me. I didn’t feel worthy or spiritual enough. If I needed prayer, I would go to someone else and hope that their faith was strong enough for both of us. I figured my messes were mine to clean up and the creator of the universe had much more important things to deal with than me. Through a long series of events, God began to show me through his Word what he had to say about prayer.
GOD DOESN’T PLAY FAVORITES
God lovingly took the time to show me that he doesn’t play favorites. He has given every single one of us the ability to talk with him at any time about anything. There isn’t a time that is inconvenient to God. He will never say “Hang on a minute, I’m in the middle of something bigger over here. Get back to me later why doncha.” Not going to happen. Ever.
“For there is no respect of persons with God.” (Romans 2:11 KJV)
He also isn’t going to ignore us because we aren’t spiritual enough. He hears every prayer uttered no matter who is saying the prayer. Always. God loves me just as I am and loves me right where I am. I don’t have to be in the five-fold ministry to be worthy enough for God to hear and answer my prayers.
Those other Christians in the limelight that I put on a pedestal and thought were the only ones who were anointed and deserving of God’s miracles and blessings? They were not to be my concern. Jesus told Peter to worry about himself and not to concern himself with anyone else (John 21:20-22.) My concern (and God’s concern) has to be my heart condition and my obedience. God showed me the pedestals were of my own making. He didn’t put any of us on a pedestal. God has always seen us as equals (Galatians 3:28, Deuteronomy 10:17).
BIG AND LITTLE ARE ALL THE SAME TO GOD
Even as maturing Christians we might find ourselves falling into the trap of thinking something is too big for God and is beyond his help or is not big enough to bother him with. That is such a lie of the devil. God wants us to talk with him about everything. We know that he never sleeps nor slumbers (Psalm 121:3-4) and because he adores us so much he is always with us listening and watching over us (Proverbs 15:3, 1 Peter 3:12).
Have you ever watched your child struggle with something you could have helped them with but they wouldn’t let you? That thing they were struggling with was huge in their life but you knew it was really a minor thing you could deal with quickly and easily. You would stand by and watch and wait for them to ask for help but they kept insisting “I can do it by myself!” We tend to be that way with God. He wants to help us and bless us but he won’t force himself on us. Big issues or little issues are all the same to God.
GOD GIVES US EXAMPLES OF PRAYER
When looking to the Bible for examples of prayer, most Christians I’ve talked to seem to head for the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) and go no further. That is an amazing prayer, but to me, I am drawn to the book of Daniel. God used this one small book to change me. It is so full of examples of prayer asked and answered, fasting, clean eating, friendships, godly living, dreams, and visions…its all in there.
Below are just 2 examples of God answering Daniel’s prayers. In both of these cases, God sent his angel Gabriel to answer Daniel. Thanks to Jesus, we now have the Holy Spirit standing with us so God doesn’t have to send us an angel with our answer.
“And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved. Therefore understand the matter, and condsider the vision.” (Daniel 9:22-23 KJV)
“Then he said to me, Don’t be afraid, 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 for your words’ sake.” (Daniel 10:12 WEB)
HEAVEN IS LISTENING
It is so cool to read this story because it gives us a glimpse into heaven. Notice, it doesn’t say “your request was heard by God” but “your request was heard in heaven.” How cool is it that not only is God listening to us but apparently so is the rest of heaven. (Daniel 10:12)
A COMMAND WAS GIVEN
Did you catch the moment Daniel began praying God answered? Also, notice “a command was given.” God doesn’t delay. Thank goodness he isn’t indecisive like we are and doesn’t have to toss an idea around and debate with himself on what to do. He doesn’t have to gather his angles together in a committee meeting to discuss and vote what should happen next. God has ALL wisdom, ALL knowledge, ALL love for us AND he knows the future. He knows us inside and out and still loves us so much he gave his only son to die in our place so that we can join him in heaven one day.
PRAY IN GOD’S WILL
God wasn’t upset Daniel asked for help. He wants to give us wisdom and understanding about all things. A prayer requested in line with God’s will (1 John 5:14) is nothing to the creator of all living things. Daniel prayed in God’s will. He didn’t pray for God to overthrow the king so that he (Daniel) could be king, nor was he selfish or boastful. He prayed for an answer to the king’s dream so that the king would not kill Daniel and his friends as well as to show the king God’s mighty power (Daniel 2:28).
“I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live (Psalm 116:1-2 KJV)
HOW’S YOUR HEART?
Daniel didn’t gather together all his Christian friends to gossip about what was happening. He did gather his Christians friends to urge them all to go to God in prayer seeking answers. But he didn’t stop there. He took it to God himself. It is clear in Daniel’s prayers that he completely trusted God; to hear his prayers, to be kind and merciful, to answer, and that the answer would be the correct one. Daniel had FAITH!
Daniel didn’t rely on his own understanding. He didn’t demand or try to make a deal with God or add to what God told him. Daniel made his request to God. He acknowledged who God is and trusted God would answer him. He didn’t take God’s gift and run but took the time to thank God. In short, he humbled himself.
While reading Daniel we also see that God may blind others to what he openly shows you. (Daniel 10:7). He may also seal your lips until he wants you to speak. (Daniel 10:16). So don’t be surprised if God only shares answered prayer with you and not everyone else or you want to speak about what God has shown you but feel you can’t. Sometimes, God has planted a seed in your spirit that is just between you and him for a time. Be patient and allow that seed to go down deep into your soul while God works to arrange things the way they need to be.
“To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles. I didn’t immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia. Then I returned to Damascus.” (Galatians 1:16-17 WEB)
“Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts much troubled me, and my face was changed in me. But I kept the matter in my heart.” (Daniel 7:28 WEB)
THE ENEMY WILL COME
We see in chapter 10 that as soon as God answered, the devil did all he could to interfere and cause delays. We know that the enemy will come. We’ve heard it hundreds of times. Yet when it happens, we always seem to be taken by surprise. As Daniel held steadfastly and prayed, God sent the angel Michael to help Gabriel so that Gabriel would be free to go to Daniel with the answer to his prayer. Keep in mind that God’s angels didn’t have to keep fighting for 21 days to get the answer to Daniel. As we saw in other areas of the book of Daniel, God has a number of ways he could have given Daniel his answer. But God wanted Daniel (and us) to know that the battle is not ours but his. Since this battle was happening in the spiritual realm instead of our physical realm, Daniel didn’t know any of this was happening but he continued to pray, fast, and believe until he received an answer.
HOW ABOUT US?
When we have something we are believing God for and we have prayed about it, do we last for a day continuing to trust and believing God? Do we last for a week, 21 days, a year or longer? In some cases, we don’t even last an hour before we allow ourselves to believe the lies the devil is whispering. The Bible clearly shows that God answers immediately so the problem is never with God but with ourselves.
What would have happened if Daniel got tired and discouraged or simply didn’t have enough faith that God was listening? The Bible gives us examples of people who have held fast in their prayers when they had to wait days, weeks, months and years. God has something to show us from each of those examples and it’s up to us to seek out his message.
God doesn’t want us to be cowering in the dark afraid and believing we are on our own. He wants us to stand in his light straight and tall knowing that he has it all worked out and our answer is on its way!