8 In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision,….
17 As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. “Son of man,”he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.”
2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with Him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.
23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:
2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.
15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— 16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
Daniel is praised by Gabriel as being highly esteemed before God. He prays for God’s people and is sent an answer, in the form of Gabriel, while he is still in prayer. Daniel is definitely someone I want in my prayer circle. I have pondered many times why some people seem to have a better connection to God. They seem to get what they ask for a short while after asking God. They never seem to get held up in wondering if they should be asking or if they deserve what they are asking for. They just talk to God and He gives them an answer. I think the reason might be found in these three chapters of Daniel. He tells how he understood scripture, how he believed what the prophets had said, and how he had faith that God could control the events and change the way things were playing out. Daniel prays, he fasts and mourns, and he prays some more. Daniel is rewarded with visions. Not just visions, he also gets visits from angels and interpretations of his visions.
Having an active prayer life, for things that are outside of us, for things that are dear to God’s heart, for things that grow His kingdom, is critical for establishing true relationship with the God of the universe. I get so focused on me that most of my prayer time is spent on me and mine. I must confess that most of these prayers end without visions from God. God has yet to send Gabriel to me to explain His plans for the future so that I might have increased understanding. I often am tempted to blame God for this lower level of interaction, but compared to Daniel, I have to admit that the failure is mine. I think that the scriptures are full of references where God tells us that He longs for us to have these interactions with Him. All I need is to believe God’s Word and act in accordance with that Word.
Father, help me to overcome my selfish ways. Help me to align myself with your ways. Show me how to have active dialog with you. Show me how to pray effective prayers so that I can perform the work that you would have me do. Thank You for Your Word. May Your Kingdom come quickly, Amen!