This article on Daniel 10:12 is about the power of prayer and the spiritual battle.

Source: Clarion, 2007. 2 pages.

Daniel 10:12 - Spiritual Battle

Your words were heard and I have come in response to them...

Daniel 10:12

Though his hands could not lift the heavy stones of the temple wall, though his fingers did not clasp a sword to fight off the enemies hounding his brothers and sisters in Judah, Daniel humbled himself before the Lord to pray for his people who were rebuilding their lives in the beautiful land. After several weeks of persistent prayer, an angel appeared and said to Daniel: “Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them...” (v 12). There is a connection between the believer’s prayer and the coming of the angel. The power of prayer is so immense that it can even call angels down to the earth to help God’s people.

But interestingly in Daniel 10, we read that there was a delay in time before the angel of the Lord came in answer to Daniel’s prayer. Almost as if it is an apology, the angel explains why he took so long:

But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.Daniel 10:13

Who was it that could hinder an angel from coming to Daniel’s side immediately? Two words are used here: “prince” and “king.” There is the “king of Persia” who is Cyrus (as we see in Daniel10:1) but there is also the “prince of the Persian kingdom” and the “prince of the Greek kingdom” (v 20).

Michael, who helped the messenger, is also called a prince (cf. also Daniel 12:1). Who were all these princes? They were angels! Some of these “princes” who were attempting to influence and deceive the kingdoms given into their power were fallen angels. They opposed God and tried to hinder the furtherance of God’s kingdom and the coming of Christ. But the angels of God are busy too. Michael, who is specifically referred to as the chief of princes, helped the messenger visiting Daniel by warding off the fallen angel who was poisoning the mind of king Cyrus. So we see that although Daniel experienced a delay of twenty-one days before he saw an answer, the prayers he offered up were actually answered long before that in an unseen spiritual battle. It was because the angel was busy working according to the prayer of Daniel that it took him three weeks to get to him.

Do you see what this all means? Your heavenly allies are engaged in ongoing battle on your behalf. What a beautiful encouragement, especially when we consider that the fallen angels are able to infiltrate the minds and plans of mankind on earth. While some fallen angels are trying to ruin the work of the Lord and his church, to keep their subjects in darkness and deception – others are fighting to protect and defend you from this onslaught. This means that you are necessarily engaged in combat yourself – Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:12 makes this so clear:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

And then he sums up our need to put on the full armour of God with the conclusion: “With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Pray because it is powerful and effective. Pray because God’s help is near. Pray because you have the victory in Jesus Christ who has put all his enemies under his feet. And when you pray, may God open your minds like He opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant (2 Kings 6) so that you may realize and believe the thousands and thousands of angels who are on your side. While you are here on earth fighting spiritual battles ... while you are trying to resist temptation and serve God faithfully ... you can know in faith that your words of prayer are heard and God is able to send mighty angels to respond to them.

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