06 Feb The Prince of Persia, the King of Persia and You
I have been a Christian for over thirty years and in that time I have dealt with many problems regarding my faith and the information in Scripture that is available to guide me. To “rightly divide the Word of truth” I need understanding to unveil a mystery.
I was struggling with prayer, as I am sure many do. I had a lot of questions and if I may be honest, I had all but given up on it, as it seemed that my prayers went unanswered and it occurred to me that God ordained things in such a way that the outcome was up to Him and my intercession was inconsequential. Well, as you might imagine that was certainly not the answer. It’s like trying to get food out of a refrigerator without opening the door. Not gonna happen. So I took a harder look at what I really wanted, which was an insight to answered prayers. Now you probably have some suggestions, some insights on the subject or a book you have read, but what I want to share with you is a discovery, not a syllabus on Prayer.
I want you to turn to the book of Daniel, chapter 10 verse 12 so we can read the story and you can see for yourself this interesting caveat to prayer. First , you know this story, but you may never have noticed this one item, because it is so small, seemingly insignificant, but isn’t that His way?
I was troubled about prayer, so I imagined what happens when I pray. The first thing I need to believe, in this effort, is that God hears me when I pray. The second thing I need to believe is that He is working on my behalf to answer my request, actively. I was able to find Scripture after Scripture to validate this idea, but I could not then justify why it seemed my prayers went unanswered or were inconsistent. If my prayers go directly into His ears and He begins the process of answering immediately then where is the break down?
Daniel 10:12 starts Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day…… your words were heard
Now imagine this with me. 1) You pray and the prayer goes to God. 2) He hears the prayer and gives charge of the answer to an angel, a no name angel, maybe a private in the angel corp, 3) So this angel is carrying the answer back to you, he has it under his arm and he is flying toward you, but something intercepts the angel and holds him up from his mission like bullies in an alley. I imagined a giant net of interconnected demons grabbing this angel and overwhelming him. Question: Can demons resist the will of Almighty God?
Verse 13: But the PRINCE of the Persian kingdom resisted me for twenty- one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes came to help me…..
So a no name angel gets hung up and has to call for back up, but this is Michael the second most powerful named angel in Scripture. This is a tremendous battle for it to last so long.
Because I was detained there with the KING of Persia.
Here’s the small thing you may have missed. When Michael came, the answer for your prayer was not with the prince any longer (remember the Prince of Persia is a type for a demon) , now the KING of Persia has it! The answer to your prayers can be transferred to more powerful strongholds depending upon their importance. Why is it important to know this?
Have you ever prayed for the impossible? Have you ever prayed for something that could bring Glory to God, but only if it is answered? Think about this: If you pray and nothing happens how do you react? Discouraged, disappointed or frustrated with God? Maybe you lash out at Him and say things that bring separation between you and God. Maybe you become disillusioned and resentful. Satan has a strong reason to detain your prayers. He can derail your relationship.
Can you understand the importance of satan’s accomplishment of getting Gods beloved (you and I) to curse Him for failure to answer our prayers when it isn’t His fault at all?
To quote Indigo Montoya from the Princess Bride: “Let me sum up.”
After I realized more fully the process I made several decisions by which I now abide.
One) I never blame God for unanswered prayer, but continue in faith.
Two) I always assume, no matter what I see, that God is at work on my behalf to perform. In cases of conflict I stand on “anyone who comes to God must believe that He is” and assure the devil that my God is able.
Three) The devil has a strong, vested interest in upsetting my attempts in prayer. It is up to me to see that he does not prevail.
Four) The prayer is mine, not God’s. I am letting my request be known. It is my responsibility to bring it home through continued faith and persistent prayer.
Five) Now that I understand the conflict, that I am actually battling powers and principalities, I agree to be involved on a higher level and dig deeper
Six) I never ask God “Why” anymore. I can ask when, where, what or how, but asking God “why” is like demanding that He explain Himself to me and I don’t want to be in that position ever again.
Seven) My answered prayers may still be inconsistent, but my attitude, my expectation and my faith in the process has changed so that my heart toward God remains pure.
Everyone is different. I am a bit pragmatic and more of an engineer. I want to understand how things work and then discover how to make them work extremely well. Prayer is, simply put, talking to God, but the application of its function, how long it takes from prayer to delivery, God’s timing, the sacrifice and its overall influence is yet to be fully known.
My journey with it has made me work at discovering its complexities, inner workings and its enduring simplicity. I love knowing how people pray, because we all do it differently and yet, the same.
Final thought: If God’s word never returns void, then how does it return?