While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill—while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. Daniel 9:20-21 (NIV).
Another prophecy is about to be revealed. In it, we’ll see our own time described (as well as every other up until now), and we’ll get an understanding of what time means to Jesus. Gabriel is also back. All this happens when Daniel is praying.
One source that I found (https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/daniel-9-20) brought up a really good point: it is in prayer that we can find God. If you’re a Christian, this must seem like a big “duh” moment. We pray; God hears; God answers prayers because of His grace, though sometimes we don’t understand the answer (or see it when we want to). Christianity 101: if you want to have a relationship with God, pray. It’s a way He gives us to build us up, to winnow out troubles, to commune with Him because He wants us to bring our inmost thoughts and feelings to Him, not under compulsion but willingly. Simple stuff, right?
Now put yourself in the place of someone who doesn’t understand this. Maybe a Muslim or Hindu who doesn’t know the ways of Jesus (or who Jesus really is). Put yourself in the shoes of someone on the streets, or someone caught up in the overwhelming comforts of suburbia; those two people really aren’t too different. Put yourself in the place of someone eaten up with ambition, or worry, or pride, or selfishness. Or cherishing a hard heart.
Do those people know about Jesus? Do they care, let alone understand prayer? It’s a blessing to recognize when your bottle is so empty that only Jesus can fill it. How must someone feel if they don’t understand, maybe don’t even realize, their greatest need?
That’s most of the streets, most of the suburbs, most of the boardrooms, halls of government, and our world. That’s a lot of churches. That’s us: broken, lost, self-focused us.
That was Babylon in the time when Daniel prayed. He prayed for his people, and he prayed for God’s mercy. Daniel understood that he had a relationship with God that was nurtured and strengthened in prayer. God answered Daniel’s prayer and sent His angel to deliver a message of hope.
Maybe it won’t be Gabriel – or maybe it will – but look for how God answers your prayers. If you haven’t gotten an answer, then level with me: when was the last time you really, deeply prayed? He is already waiting for you.
For further reading: Ezra 10:1, Psalm 145:18, Isaiah 58:9, Luke 1:19, Daniel 9:22
Lord God, I pray to You. Hear my prayer and have mercy.
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