“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. 12 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 ANSWER IS ALREADY ON THE WAY
The book of the prophet Habakkuk opens with these words: “How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Do you ever feel like that? You pray, you speak to God but it feels like your prayers do not go anywhere? Hit the ceiling and come back down? I imagine we all have had that at some point in our lives. We ask, is God listening?
One of the great teachings that we encounter in the book of Daniel and indeed throughout scripture is that “God Hears.” Our reading above says “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, (Prayers) the Messenger tells Daniel. What were Daniel’s words? They are recorded for us in Daniel 9:4-19. I would encourage you to give them a read.
I do not know what is like for you, but there are moments in my life when I need to be reminded of this Bible fact. God is a God who listens to his people. God hears our prayers.
Here are some verses for you to ponder today, read them slowly let the truth of each of them sink into your heart and mind,
“Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, …”
1 PETER 3:12
"For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
1 JOHN 5:15
"And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him."
"Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
"I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!"
This does not mean that because God hears that the answer is always swift. This is where our knowledge of God’s character and ways are important. This is where our faith and trust in God are exercised, and I would argue, are strengthened.
God’s messenger reassured Daniel that God heard every word and started working in Daniel’s life the moment he cried out. Please remember that. Not instant answers, but immediate response. The messenger speaks into Daniel’s life and we read Daniel’s declaration “he spoke to me, and I was strengthened.”
God always hears our prayer. Fighting through the frustration and persevering in prayer is not about getting God’s attention; it is about God getting ours. Psalm 34:15 says, “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.” With each prayer we lift up to God, we remember where our help comes from and we make space in our lives, to hear from our God.
I say with confidence to today, that God is working, and we can trust Him, even when it seems like nothing is happening. Take heart in knowing God hears you and is working all things, even the hard things, together for your good (Romans 8:28).
How comfortable do you feel with prayer? What, if anything, stops you from reaching out to God when life is a struggle?
Is there a prayer you have given up on or felt like God forgot? Take some time today to pray, trusting that God does hear you and is working on your behalf.