Have you ever prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and felt that God was not listening because He clearly was not responding? We all have. But this is not true. God always hears your prayers. But sometimes there is opposition blocking what you are praying for.
One of my favorite verses in the entire Bible is found in the Book of Daniel. Daniel was grieved over the captivity of God’s people. However, he found a promise from God in the Bible regarding their deliverance! He was so excited by the possibility of their freedom that he began fasting and praying, asking God to fulfill His Word.
He fasted and prayed the first day. Nothing. He fasted and prayed the second day. Nothing. Same thing on the third day, forth day, fifth day, all the way up to the twenty-first day. (This is where we get the 21 Day Daniel Fast from).
FINALLY, an angel appears before Daniel to answer his prayers. Geesh. Seriously. Twenty-one days? I can imagine Daniel saying, “Why didn’t you just come on the first day? Was this some kind of a test? Were you busy?” And the Angel replies, “Well, sort of.”
What did the Angel say?
“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.” Daniel 10:12-14
From the first day Daniel began to fast and pray, God heard him and sent an answer.
I am so thankful this story is recorded in the Bible! It gives us an understanding of the reality of the spiritual battle being waged in the heavenlies, and our part to play in it!
I also love how God defines Daniel’s fasting and praying as, “…humbling yourself before God.” That is what fasting, and prayer is about, humbling ourselves before God. And that is what we are doing during this fast.
The Angel also called Daniel in this chapter, “Daniel, beloved of God.” Sometimes when we feel God is not responding we can wonder if He loves us. Yes, He does, always.
Do not be discouraged by “unanswered” prayer. Many times, there is a battle over what you are praying for. Be like Daniel. Just keep praying until you get an answer!