Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.” (Daniel 10:12-14)
I recall when my son Christopher was small, we bought him a pair of boxing gloves. He wanted to use Daddy for a punching bag! I would have none of it. If he were going to hit me, I was going to punch back! So he could reach me, I got down on my knees. I won the match, of course! In spiritual warfare, that is the position we must take, as well, if we are to win. It explains in part why prayer often feels like a battle—it is! There are several vital lessons to learn about “fighting on your knees,” in Daniel, chapter ten.
We learn some MOTIVATIONS for our praying (v.1). Daniel was motivated by both the indifference and impotence of the people of God. It had been three years since Cyrus had come to power and issued a decree that the Jews were free to return to Jerusalem. Only a small number had gone. Most had no heart for the work of God. We know from a study of Ezra and Nehemiah that those who did go back had many enemies in their effort to rebuild. That set Daniel to praying! A similar state plagues the people of God today, and ought to motivate us to cry out to God.
We further discover the MANNER of our praying (v.2-3). It was a prayer that involved intercession and intensity. Daniel’s praying was a plea for God’s people and exhibited a passion for God’s glory. This was no self-centered prayer treating God as Santa Claus to grant a list of Daniel’s Christmas gifts, nor a pious ritual, mindlessly recited. True praying will be much more than that! Our manner will be that of Daniel’s.
Then, we note the MANIFESTATION from our praying (v.4-9). There is only one other in Scripture who fits the Being described here—the Lord Jesus Christ. His description in Revelation 1 that John saw while in exile on Patmos mirrored what Daniel saw while in exile in Persia. When our prayers rise up, heaven comes down. We enter the very throne room of grace and encounter the Son of God as we bow before Him. Prayer involves worship.
This provides the MIGHT in our praying (v.10-14). Prayer not only involves worship, but warfare. After a space of being on his face, another being speaks to Daniel—he sees the Son of God has departed, but now the angel Gabriel is there. Gabriel left heaven with the answer the moment Daniel started praying, but was delayed by a demonic force. It was the persistent prayer of the prophet that summoned Michael to aid Gabriel in getting the answer through! The battle in the invisible dimension was determined by the faithful praying of Daniel in the physical realm. There is power in prayer!
Then comes the MESSAGE from our praying (v.15-21). The answer comes. Assurance of victory is provided. This is how we win!