As I was studying Daniel 9 and 10 today, an issue I had no idea I had was cleared up. For years, when I’ve heard people talk about Daniel praying and then waiting to hear back from the Lord, I’ve thought that Daniel prayed once, waited, and then heard from the Lord after three weeks. However, that’s not what happened.

Confessing his sin and the sin of Israel to the Lord, Daniel went before the Lord in prayer in Daniel 9. This prayer was done in accordance with Scripture, and throughout Daniel’s prayer, he addresses Scripture several times. Daniel does not say, “In Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:10” or quote Scripture. Instead, Daniel refers to it as seen here.

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.

Daniel 9:2 (NIV)

If we pinpoint the Scriptures in this verse Daniel might be referring to, they would be Jeremiah 25:11, 29:10. Again, in verse 11, Daniel refers to Scripture that we might point out.

All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. “Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you.

Daniel 9:11 (NIV)

While several areas deal with curses, Deuteronomy 27-28 are areas Daniel probably had in mind.

The next verse I noted that brought Scripture to mind is verse 13.

Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth.

Daniel 9:13 (NIV)

While many Scriptures cover turning away from sin and back to the Lord, 2 Chronicles 7:14 came to mind when I read Daniel 9:13.

This prayer of Daniel tells me that when we pray “Scripture” back to the Lord, it’s unnecessary to quote it because God knows what we’re talking about. When Daniel went before the Lord in prayer in Daniel 9:2, we were told that Daniel’s prayer was answered before he finished praying.

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 (emphasis added).

Daniel 9:23 (NIV)

Gabriel (the angel who responded to Daniel’s prayer) tells Daniel three things.

  1. God responded to his prayer as soon as Daniel began to pray.
  2. Gabriel has come to give Daniel a response.
  3. Daniel is “highly esteemed.”

As a Christian, you are “highly esteemed,” and your prayers matter. Evidenced by James 5:16, which assures us, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (NIV). This verse isn’t just about prayer warriors. Every Christian is made righteous through faith in Jesus. 

The other two things Gabriel tells Daniel are to set up, I believe, the actions in Daniel 10. In Daniel 10, we are told:

At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 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.

Daniel 10:2-3 (NIV)

These verses tell me that Daniel fasted for three weeks. However, Daniel also mourned. While one might fast and mourn simultaneously, I think the mourning had to do with what appeared to be unanswered prayer. Remember, in Daniel 9:23, Daniel was told he was “highly esteemed.” Daniel could get a prayer through to God, and God answered it quickly. Today, we might call Daniel a prayer warrior, and he might be someone others seek out to pray for them. Yet, Daniel prayed, and when there was no response, he fasted and mourned. When Daniel receives an answer to his prayer, he is told:

Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them” (emphasis added).

Daniel 10:12 (NIV)

Although we don’t read what Daniel prayed, like Daniel 9, I believe he did. It doesn’t make sense otherwise. Fasting is always associated with prayer. I cannot see fasting without prayer. 

Daniel didn’t receive a response to this second prayer, like the first one, right away because the messenger was detained. 

But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia (emphasis added).

Daniel 10:13 (NIV)

This tells me that when we pray, the response can be delayed. In fact, demons can delay those angelic missionaries sent to help us, revealing that God doesn’t just wave his hand and make things happen. While God could do that, he uses divine beings who, in turn, run into conflict with demonic beings. 

In Daniel’s two prayers, we learn that God sends an answer to prayer as soon as we pray. We also know that it can take time to receive a response. Most importantly, perhaps, we learn that if we are righteous in God’s sight before we pray, it’s not our fault that the response is delayed. Remember that Gabriel told Daniel he was “highly esteemed.” The second messenger tells Daniel twice that he’s “highly esteemed.” In verses 10 and 18. I believe this was said to assure Daniel. This also supports the notion that Daniel might have thought the delayed response had something to do with him. 

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.