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How God Responds To A Burdened, Humble Prayer

By Bill Elliff

    In Daniel, Chapter 9, we read one of the great prayers of the Bible.  Similar to Nehemiah’s prayer in Nehemiah 1, Daniel pours out his soul for his nation.  His prayer is a mighty prayer for us to pray, word-for-word, as we cry out for our nation.

    But does God hear his humble, repentant prayer?  The next chapter reveals the response of our prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God.

    God comes.  “On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz.  His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult” (Dan. 10:4-6).  Whether you believe this was the pre-incarnate Christ or a mighty angel, it was a messenger from heaven.  God came.

    God speaks.  “And he said to me, ‘O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.’  And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling” (v. 11).

    God hears.  “Then he said to me, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words’” (v. 12).

    Our enemy opposes God’s work.  “‘But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia’” (v. 13).

    God gives the understanding we need.  “‘Now I have come to give you an understanding…’” (v. 14).

    God gives us, not everything but what we need to believe.  It may not be the exact answer we think we need, but His promises for the future give us hope.  Regardless of what is happening in our present, our future is secure in His hands.  He wins.  And those who are with Him win also!  Often in prayer, God lifts our eyes from the immediate to the most important issue and gives us a promise for us to believe.  “‘Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future’” (v. 14).

    His words give us the peace, courage, and strength we need!  “And he said, ‘O man of high esteem, do not be afraid.  Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous!’  Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, ‘May my lord speak, for you have strengthened me’” (v. 19).

    God reminds us our job is to be faithful to the end and we will be rewarded!  “‘But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age’” (12:13).

    Father, thank You that as we cry earnestly to You and seek You, You will answer us.  You hear our prayers!  What a blessed, gracious thought.  And You answer and give us exactly what we need to believe You and move forward in faith.

    – Used by permission.

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