Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Warfare in Prayer

DANIEL 10:10-14-And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”

America’s greatest theologian and philosopher, Jonathan Edwards, wrote this about life, “God has appointed this whole life to be all as a race or a battle; the state of rest, wherein we shall be so out of danger as to have no need of watching and fighting is for another world.” And this battle as a Christian is on many fronts. We face a crafty devil who seeks, as a roaring lion, to devour us – Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Then there is the allurements of the world as described by the Apostle John – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17). Yet, the area of the most difficulty is our weak flesh and that in the most important area of the Christian life–prayer. Jesus identifies this weakness with His disciples at a most critical time in His life when He sought His friends for prayer–And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”(Matthew 26:40-41). When Jesus says, “Could you not watch with me one hour” He is referring to prayer and that ties into today’s theme and scripture–the warfare in prayer.

In today’s scripture, Daniel has been agonizing in prayer (see Daniel 9), and there is opposition against his praying. An angel comes to reassure him that God has heard him. He also tells Daniel, “The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days.” Many scholars refer to this prince of kingdom of Persia as an illustration of Satan. And it makes sense as this angelic messenger from God is opposed by him. No human being hinders angels. The application? When we pray, Satan opposes. Greatly. And how does he do so? Here are a couple of ways. He will tempt us to stop praying as we don’t see answers. He will persuade us to neglect prayer by placing the desires of the world and flesh above times of prayer both alone and with other believers. Learn this lesson. When opportunities to pray are present and we feel prompted to pray, obey. Immediately. Whether alone or in attending a prayer meeting, do it, and remember, any sense of opposition to prayer is from our spiritual enemies. Defeat them by praying, by obeying God’s Spirit prompting us to pray and don’t give up. It is war. Fight hard. Fight to the end.

PRAYER: “Father, help me to understand my life is a constant spiritual war and especially in prayer.”
QUOTE: “When urged to pray and tempted to not follow the urging, remember the war and who is tempting.”

Because of Him,
Pastor Jim