December 18, 2022

Power Of Persistent Prayer.

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Daniel 10

The prophet Daniel was nothing if not a man of prayer. During his time of captivity in Babylon, while serving in the royal courts of Babylon and then Persia, it was his practice to pray toward Jerusalem three times a day (Daniel 6:10; see 2 Chronicles 6:38-39). We can learn from Daniel's prayer life that because prayers are answered differently we should be persistent in prayer even if our answers don't come immediately.

On one occasion, when Daniel realized that the Babylonian captivity was to last 70 years (Daniel 9:2), he prayed a lengthy prayer of confession and request for forgiveness for the Jews to God (Daniel 9:4-19). Before he even finished his prayer, the angel Gabriel arrived and said, "At the beginning of your supplication, the command went out, and I have come to tell you" (Daniel 9:23). Daniel's prayer was answered before he even finished praying.

On another occasion Daniel began praying about a vision he had received—he fasted and prayed ("mourning") for three weeks without receiving an answer (Daniel 10:1-2). At the end of three weeks of prayer a messenger from heaven appeared to Daniel to respond to his prayer. Like Gabriel in response to Daniel's previous prayer, this messenger was apparently dispatched quickly but he was delayed by a demonic opponent in the heavenly places (Daniel 10:12-13; see Ephesians 6:12). This opponent apparently sought to prevent Daniel's prayer from being answered. Only when the powerful angel Michael assisted the messenger in defeating the demon was the messenger able to make his way to Daniel in response to the prayer.

When we pray on earth we have no idea what activity is happening in heavenly places. For that reason, we should be persistent in prayer. Jesus taught as much in two different parables: one about the persistent host (Luke 11:5-8) and one about a shameless widow (Luke 18:1-8).
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I. Gabriel brings an answer to Daniel (20-23)

Discussion Questions

• What does this passage teach you about prayer?
• Why was Gabriel sent to Daniel? What does this teach us about God?
• What can you learn from this passage about our Father’s heart toward us?
• Why did Daniel describe Gabriel as a “man”?
• What can we learn about the timeline of requests and answers?
• Does God always answer prayers this fast? Why does He sometimes have us wait?
• How does God view Daniel (23)?
• How does this passage encourage you in your prayer life?
• Do you have any testimonies to share about answered prayer in your life?


1 John 5:14-15 – And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

John 15:7 – If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. While I was speaking and praying – Daniel gave us an excellent example of someone devoted to prayer. This verse implies that Daniel prayed out loud. Praying aloud can be a way to focus better on the words we say. While it is not a rule to pray out loud (God hears even the silent prayers in our hearts), it can help us concentrate as we verbalize our thoughts.

Reflect – What are the benefits of praying aloud rather than silently?

2. While I was speaking, the man Gabriel came to me in swift flight –

Here is one of the fastest answers to prayer recorded in Scripture. Daniel had not even finished his prayer before an answer was hand-delivered to him.

Gabriel is one of the archangels. He often acts as a messenger and brings news or a vision from God to His people. It was Gabriel who told Mary she was going to give birth to Jesus (Luke 1:11-38). Likely Daniel describes him as a “man” because in this case he appeared in the form of a man. Angels can appear in their supernatural form (which generally causes fear to those who see them) or as normal people. The fact that he is not actually a man is made clear since he came in “swift flight,” and men can’t fly!

3. I have now come out to give you insight and understanding – The heart of God is clearly seen in these words of Gabriel. He wanted Daniel to understand His plans. The heart of our Father toward us is soft and kind. Like a good father seeks to educate and teach his child, so God desires to instruct us. Parents don't want their children to grow up ignorant. Neither does God want us to be (Amos 3:7).

Application – Since our Father wants us to know Him and His plan, He has made knowing those things possible. Our job is to treasure His words. We should hunger for that wisdom.
Proverbs 2:1-6 – My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom.
As you hunger for wisdom, you will spend more time studying His Word. And as you study, you will also ask Him to give you insight.

Part of the reason Gabriel was sent is to correct Daniel’s misunderstanding of what would happen. Daniel had just studied Jeremiah’s seventy-year prophecy. It seems that he believed that Israel’s troubles were almost at an end. They would return to the land and then the Messiah would come and establish His kingdom. In essence, Gabriel tells him, “a lot more things have to take place and it is going to take a lot of time.”

4. At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out – Here, we get a glimpse into the mechanics of prayer. God immediately heard Daniel’s prayer, reminding us that He is omnipresent. It doesn’t take a long time for our prayers to reach God. He knows your requests before you even organize your thoughts.
Matthew 6:8 – Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Right away, God sets His plan for answering Daniel’s prayer in motion. Gabriel says that “a word went out.” Presumably, this “word” was from God Himself. Daniel prayed, and God gave a command, ordering Gabriel to deliver His answer to Daniel.

The Lord is the King of Kings. He is on His throne. And He is aware of everything happening in the world and of every single prayer. And sometimes, He personally issues a direct command to the angels in response to our prayers.

It is encouraging to see how God answers prayer. A host of angels are serving Him around the clock, awaiting instructions from their general. At a word, the High King sends them off on various missions of mercy on behalf of His people.

God does not always send an answer so quickly. Sometimes He deems it necessary for us to wait for His response.

Reflect – Why does He sometimes have us wait?

Application – Picturing God as the general in command of a host of heavenly beings can help encourage you when you pray. Do not doubt God’s ability to answer your prayer, no matter how big. He has all of the resources in the universe at His disposal. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Believe that He is listening. Believe that He has the power to answer. Believe that He will answer according to what is good for you.

5. You are greatly loved – It is a beautiful reminder of God’s love. He greatly loved Daniel. And He greatly loved us as well (John 3:16).

Reflect – How have you experienced God’s great love for you?

6. Therefore consider the word and the vision – God sent this message to Daniel. At the same time, Daniel had a role to play. His job was to consider the words and the vision carefully. He should pay careful attention and meditate upon the meaning. It was important for Daniel to use his mind and energy in this process and not be a passive spectator.

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