1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We are delighted that you are able to join us today;
3. and, today, we are continuing our series of messages from the Book of Daniel,
4. which we are calling, “Standing Firm in a World of Shifting Sands;”
5. and we will be looking at Daniel, Chapter 10;
6. but, first, I want to share with you a story.
7. Back in 1995, one of my children gave me a painting, which hangs in my office.
8. It is a picture of a child in bed.
9. The child’s father is kneeling beside the bed, praying over the child;
10. and, as the father prays, an angel of the Lord is holding back a satanic attack.
11. This poster illustrates something of what really happens when the righteous pray.
12. It illustrates the invisible war that takes place behind the invisible spiritual curtain.
13. In the last message from Daniel, Chapter 9, we saw Daniel on his face before God interceding on behalf of His people,
14. even though most of God’s people did not know and did not care about their condition;
15. and the reason they did not care was because they were oblivious to their desperate spiritual condition.
16. Let me remind you that Daniel, who stood firm for God at the age of 14, is now an old man.
17. Daniel, who longed all of his life to go back from exile in Babylon to Jerusalem, is now too old for the journey.
18. Daniel now comes to realize that his personal desire will not become a reality.
19. I wonder, if you were in Daniel’s place, if you would have continued to pray.
20. Why pray when your personal desire is not going to be granted?
21. My listening friend, it is very important to understand that, if all of our prayers are for our own wants,
22. if all our prayers are focused on our own circumstances,
23. then we have not yet learned to pray;
24. but prayer that seeks the glory of God,
25. prayer that is often on behalf of others,
26. prayer that is offered on behalf of the work of God,
27. prayer that is selfless prayer,
28. that is the prayer that honors God.
29. That is why the Bible often speaks of prayer for others.
30. Maybe some of you are saying, “Is it wrong, then, to pray for ourselves?”
31. The answer is “no.” It is not wrong to pray for our own needs;
32. but, if your prayer is only for the fulfillment of your own desires and nothing else,
33. then there is something wrong with your prayer life;
34. and that is why James said that this kind of prayer will not be answered.
35. James, Chapter 4, verse 3, says, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures...”
36. and, my listening friend, there is a biblical principle, here, that runs throughout the whole Bible.
37. It is in giving that we receive.
38. It is in seeking first the Kingdom of God that all of our needs are met;
39. and it works the same way in prayer.
40. Daniel’s prayer is a model prayer, because it is selfless prayer;
41. and, because Daniel’s prayer was a selfless prayer, God answered his prayer in abundance.
42. In Daniel 10:1 and 2, it says that, in the third year of Cyrus, King of Persia, Daniel was praying and fasting for three weeks.
43. What was he praying for?
44. Was it for Cyrus to allow God’s people to return to Jerusalem?
46. In Ezra 1:1, it says that, in the first year of Cyrus’ reign, the decree was issued for the Jews to go back to Jerusalem, if they wanted to.
47. Now, my listening friends, what I’m going to tell you is very important. Don’t miss it.
48. Two years after the decree was issued, Daniel is on his face before God praying and interceding.
49. What in the world was he doing?
50. Was he out of his mind?
51. He is praying for something two years after it was answered?
52. Ezra and Nehemiah have already gone back with a contingent of God’s people;
53. and my natural reaction would be to say to Daniel, “Daniel, you should be rejoicing, not fasting.”
54. Oh, but Daniel would have said to me, “You do not understand.
55. It is only a tiny minority of people who have availed themselves to this God-given opportunity.
56. The vast majority of God’s people have no desire to go back.
57. For 70 years, I have longed for my people and me to turn back to our spiritual heritage;
58. and, now, that the opportunity is here, there are very few takers...”
59. and Daniel knew that this window of opportunity might not stay open forever.
60. My listening friend, we are in a similar spiritual danger today;
61. and that is why we must pray for a Holy Spirit revival;
62. and to make things worse for Daniel, news from Jerusalem came in and said that the Temple walls were broken.
63. The workers are few and are discouraged, and the opposition is fierce;
64. and the Samaritans are appealing to Cyrus to reverse his decree;
65. and the people in Jerusalem are losing hope;
66. and that is why we see Daniel, as an old man, on his face before God.
67. He was asking for the glory of God;
68. and God answered his prayer mightily.
69. He gave him a vision of all visions,
70. which we will see in the next two messages;
71. but, today, I want to show you what can happen when the righteous pray.
72. Because of Daniel’s selfless prayer, the pre-incarnate Christ appeared to him --
73. not in Jerusalem, the city of his praise,
74. not in the Temple, the home of worship;
75. but the pre-incarnate Christ showed up where Daniel was by the river, Tigris.
76. My listening friend, whenever you pray for the glory of God, Jesus will show up.
77. How do I know that this was the pre-incarnate Christ?
78. Daniel’s description of Him matches the description of others.
79. Whether it was Isaiah, or Ezekiel, or John the Revelator, all of their descriptions are very similar.
80. He was wearing white linen—the clothes of the high priests, not the clothes of an angel.
81. His appearance filled Daniel with awe.
82. His splendor threw Daniel off his feet.
83. His unveiled glory sucked the life out of Daniel.
84. Satan tried to hinder Him, but he failed.
85. Above all, the victorious, pre-incarnate Christ gave Daniel supernatural strength to be able to speak to the King of Glory.
86. My listening friend, there are two things that I want you to never forget about the prayer of the righteous;
87. and these two things come out of Chapter 10 of the Book of Daniel.
88. First, the power of prayer is in the persistence of prayer.
89. Secondly, the power of prayer is dependent on the righteousness of the one who’s praying.
90. The power of prayer is in the persistence in prayer.
91. How long did Daniel continuously pray and fast?
92. Three weeks.
93. When did God hear Daniel’s prayer?
94. Verse 12 of Chapter 10 says, “Then He continued, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel.
95. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard.’”
96. Satan and his demons may be working behind the veil to hinder answer to prayer, but they ultimately fail.
97. Satan and his demons may fiercely use people to oppose the righteous, but they will be foiled.
98. If Jesus is the Lord of your life, then you are in a state of spiritual warfare.
99. You are in a spiritual conflict with the evil one.
1. The question is this: do you know how to fight and win?
2. Daniel was praying for the Persian King to come to the aid of God’s people and not side with the Samaritan’s opposition.
3. At that very same time, Satan was working overtime to eliminate God’s people;
4. but, even though the Persian King was under Satan’s control, the great God of Heaven, in response to Daniel’s prayer, thwarted Satan;
5. and the Persian King obeyed the living God.
6. Remember what the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:3 to 5?
7. Let’s read it to you.
8. The power of Daniel’s prayer was in Daniel’s persistence in prayer, and that is why his prayer was answered.
9. Secondly, the power of prayer is dependent on the righteousness of the praying person.
10. Daniel understood that the awesomeness of his prayer was influencing the events of history.
11. Just think of this, my listening friend.
12. An 87 year old man in a distant country praying, and history is changed!
13. That is because the power of prayer is beyond human calculation.
14. Do you think the devil knows that?
15. Of course.
16. That is why very few people go to prayer meetings.
17. Satan is not stupid.
18. He knows what God can do when God’s army becomes united in prayer.
19. We are the ones who don’t understand and we don’t get it;
20. but there is something about the power of prayer that you should not miss.
21. Some people talk about the power of prayer.
22. That gives the impression that the power is in the prayer itself,
23. or, that there is power in the person that does the praying.
24. No, no, no, no.
25. That is a terrible mistake.
26. The power is the power of God in response to a whole-hearted dependence on Him in prayer.
27. Not only that, but not all prayers are effective prayers.
28. James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
29. You say, “What does that mean?”
30. It means that only those who have no discontinuity between the way they pray and the way they live will be effective in their prayers.
31. Only those whose lives are pleasing to the Lord will prevail in prayer.
32. My listening friend, listen. Prayer is not magic.
33. Prayer is not some secret trick that one can use to manipulate God, regardless of how one lives.
35. The only powerful prayer,
36. the only effective prayer,
37. is the prayer that is the expression of the righteous life.
38. The only effective prayer is the prayer of a consistent life and a godly life.
39. Certainly, Daniel did not expect Christ to show up.
40. Daniel merely wanted to know the will of God for His people;
41. but, because of Daniel’s brokenness in prayer,
42. because of Daniel‘s selflessness in prayer,
43. and, because of Daniel’s surrender in prayer,
44. God unveiled His majesty to Daniel.
45. God assured Daniel that all would be well in the future because God rules the future;
46. and, so, my listening friend, let me tell you this as I conclude.
47. Get on the road of righteousness now
48. so that your prayer will be the expression of a consistent, godly life.
49. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.