‘God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place’ ~2 Chronicles 30:27
Prayer: Bowed heart, bended will, lifted spirit. Mumblings, rumblings, sobs. . . silence. Waiting. Hoping. Trusting. Believing. Believing in the ‘Name which is above every name’ (Philippians 2:9). Amen. Open eyes. Back to the physical realm. Everything looks the same, but in the spirit realm, explosions have occurred. Prayers lifted up have pierced the heavens and reached the One seated on the throne, with our Mediator at His right hand side. Our messages have been received with much delight. Angels are then dispatched to carry out the will of the Almighty in accordance to what we have prayed and believed for. On earth, we call it prayer answered. In heaven, it is known as His will being done. ‘For it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom’ (Luke 12:32).
When Daniel ‘was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill’ (Daniel 9:20), he makes a spiritual discovery. ‘While I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice’ (v21). Angel Gabriel then gives Daniel ‘insight and understanding’ (v22) and tells him;
‘As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed’
As soon as Daniel began to pray, an answer was given; ‘for everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened’ (Matthew 7:8). Daniel being highly esteemed, expedited the answer. He was highly esteemed and so received a prompt response because, ‘I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord’ (Daniel 9:2). Knowing the will of God from His Word is a sure way to get heaven to positively respond to prayer, as one prays with an understanding. James lays bare to those who don’t understand God’s will; ‘When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures’ (James 4:3). God is interested in His ‘will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ (Matthew 6:10), and so when we pray according to His Word, then an answer is given as soon as we begin to pray. We become highly esteemed because we are concerned about His business. The angel tells Daniel, ‘Since the first day 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’ (Daniel 10:12). Indeed, ‘the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much’ (James 5:16).
When effectual prayers go up, answers come down. However, sometimes, the answers seem delayed- not because God did not dispatch a response, but that our prayers are caught up in heavens. In another instance, ‘Daniel mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotion at all until the three weeks were over’ (Daniel 10:2-3). After the praying and fasting, nothing had seemed to happen. But ‘God is not a man, that he should lie’ (Deuteronomy 23:19) because He says ‘whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you’ (John 16:23). When the Messenger of the Lord finally appears to Daniel, he tells him, ‘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).
This clearly shows that sometimes the Evil One confiscates our answers to prayer. And so we think that God has delayed or denied us while in reality, our accuser has detained our answered prayers, intending for us to lose faith in God and ultimately loose our blessing. A double strike, because the Evil One is bent to ‘steal, and to kill, and to destroy’ (John 10:10). The devil steals our prayers in order to kill our dreams, and destroy our complete trust in God. And so while trusting God for answered prayer, we are to wait and watch. We are to bind the strongman because Jesus has given us ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bound on earth will be bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven’ (Matthew 16:19). God in His goodness has given us the key to unlock open heavens, and decree in agreement with His Word for the release of His will upon our lives, and reverse any demonic delay and detainment.
Sometimes though, it is doubt that stands in the way of answered prayer. ‘But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man and unstable in all he does’ (James 1:6-8). Do you doubt God? Do you doubt His existence and Sovereignty? Do you doubt His goodness? Do you doubt His wisdom? Do you doubt His Word? ‘For He who believes in God must believe that he is, and that he is rewarder of them that diligently seek Him’ (Hebrews 11:6). When we doubt Jesus asks, ‘O ye of little faith, why did you doubt? (Matthew 14:31), and so ‘As you have believed, let it be done for you’ (8:v13).
Prayer must begin in God and end in God. Prayer must recognize that God is our only helper. He is to be our only option, like the three Hebrew boys who said, ‘If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O King. But even if he does not, we want you to know you O King, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up’ (Daniel 3:17-18). Prayer is courage. Prayer is total surrender. It is not just mere words, ‘for wisdom is proved right by her actions’ (Matthew 11:19). When King Hezekiah received news of his illness that ‘you are going to die, you will not recover’ (2 Kings 20:1), he turned to his first and last option. He ‘turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord’ (v3). The Lord heard and before long, responds, ‘I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you’ (v5). Again, when an enemy threatened to attack his Country, King Hezekiah turned to his only deliverer, and so God says, ‘Because you prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria . . . the Lord has spoken against him’ (Isaiah 37:21,22).
Prayer is communion, prayer is unity with the trinity, prayer is continuity, prayer is fellowship, prayer is worship, prayer is praise, prayer is privilege, prayer is petition, prayer is brokenness, prayer is wholeness, prayer is belief, prayer is listening, prayer is agreement, prayer is surrender, prayer is sacrifice, prayer is remembrance, prayer is knowledge, prayer is wisdom, prayer is spiritual exercise, prayer is combat, prayer is manifestation, prayer is bringing heaven on earth, prayer is faith, prayer is hope, prayer is medicine, prayer is participation, prayer is discovery, prayer is divine, prayer is effective, prayer is air- it is constantly inhaled and exhaled.
‘May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice’ ~ Psalm 141:2