Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hey, Girls in the Sisterhood!

Let's chat some more about prayer.
There's something really awesome I want you
to think about.

It's found in Daniel chapter 10.
This is way after the lion's den escapade.
And after his three best friends
were thrown into the fiery furnace.

The book of Daniel is almost finished
at this point—just two more chapters.

But in chapter 10:4, we see Daniel beginning
to pray and fast for his people in Jerusalem.

You see, Daniel had been taken captive
several years before and is living in Persia.
(That's modern-day Iran.)

But his homeland is Jerusalem. And he's deeply
burdened for his friends and family back home.

Some of you have experienced such a burden,
haven't you? Your heart sometimes breaks for
your loved ones that you want to help.

We're told in the Book of Ezra (1:1) that King
Cyrus gave permission for all the captives to
leave and go back to their homes.

So why is Daniel still in Persia?
Why hasn't he left and gone back home?
Why is he still in a heathen court?
Hmmm.
Must be because God has made it crystal-clear
to him that there's still a job for Daniel to do.
So Daniel remains faithful to God and stays in
this heathen land.

But we see in verse 4 that he's praying fervently
for his people in Jerusalem.

He's been fasting for more than three weeks.
He's eaten very little food—probably rice and
some bread and juice to sustain him—and the scripture
says, "I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over."

In other words, probably no cologne, no nice soaps,
no hair gel. None of the extras. This shows me Daniel's
attitude: "It's not about me. How I look right now isn't
important. What IS important is that I lift my people
in prayer."

What commitment, huh?!

And THEN through the rest of the chapter we get to
eavesdrop on a conversation Daniel has with an angel!

And I love the message this angel gives him.
"Daniel, I know you've been praying for 24 days now.
Maybe you thought your prayers hadn't gotten through.
But actually, as soon as you uttered the first word
on the first day of your prayer and fast vigil, your prayer
got God's attention. It didn't take 24 days to get through,
Daniel. He heard it immediately."

Cool, huh?
Sometimes we think it takes forever for God to hear
our prayers. But He actually hears them as soon as we pray!

OK.
But it gets even more exciting!

The angel tells Daniel that at the very moment
he first began this prayer vigil, his prayer reached
God and God dispatched this very angel
to give Daniel an important message.

Really?
If God dispatched the angel
as soon as Daniel prayed,
why has nothing happened for 24 days?
Sheesh!
That's a long time to keep praying, huh?

If you'll keep eavesdropping on the conversation,
you'll discover the answer.

"Daniel, I was SENT HERE TO YOU as soon
as you prayed. God didn't delay. But wow,
Daniel, you don't have a clue what's going
on in the heavenlies!

"I was on my way to you so I could give
you God's response, and suddenly I got
caught up in a fierce battle with the demon
who hovers over the whole country of Persia!

"Daniel! It was such intense spiritual warfare
that God had to dispatch the angel Michael to
come relieve me from the fight so I could get
here to you!"

The rest of the book of Daniel (chapters 11-12)
is the message from God about things that will
take place in the end times.

But . . . did you get it?
Sometimes we wonder why God hasn't answered
us yet . . . but we have no clue how much spiritual
warfare is happening on our behalf.

Daniel had no idea that God had already dispatched
an angel on his behalf, but he continued to faithfully pray.

What if he'd stopped praying?
I think the angel would have simply continued his battle.
But because of Daniel's ferventness in prayer . . .
because he kept praying and praying and praying,
God intervened again and dispatched Michael
to intervene in the spiritual battle so Daniel
could get the message God wanted him to have!

Don't grow weary in praying.
God always answers your prayers.
Not always in your timing.
Not always the way you want Him to.
But your prayers are always answered.

We simply have no clue what's really
happening in the heavenlies.

I love you, Girls!
Susie Shellenberger

10 comments:

  1. wow, I love this!!!
    keep writing about prayer, its really making me think of it differentley. C:

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  2. This post is incredible. I don't know that I ever think of prayer this way. Thanks for shaking me up :)

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  3. Thanks for this nice post. It is really very interesting to read. I like the prayer. I appreciate it.

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  4. Thank you so much! What an awesome reminder. It actually means a lot to me right now, as there is something I'm praying for and it doesn't seem God has answered yet. The message came just at the right time. Thank you again, Susie!

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  5. this week has been tough i woke up every morning at 6am-no alarm set just god waking me up to pray for tina.
    -no its not me to wake up that early-normally i wake up 11 or 12.
    My Friend tina had cancer & everything went so quck & she passed away this morning,i was Praying for healing & he healed her in the Arms Of Jesus.
    I believe my Prayer is answered.
    Tears of Sorrow yet Tears of Joy-
    Please Pray for the Reed family during this time of loss & heavens Gain-thanx
    It's all in his timing,Susie is Speaking about Prayer- amazing how God works.
    thanks susie for these post that speak to the heart.
    -Magilicutty

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  6. Thanks for the message Susie!!! I love hearing about specific stories in the Bible and thinking about them in a way that I haven't before!!

    And Magilicutty, the Reed family will be in my prayers :) Best of luck with everything!

    ~~Meg ♥♥♥

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  7. Wow.This couldn't have come at a better time...
    I was up all night last night wrestling with stuff and it seemed that everything was too big to deal with. What an encouraging message for me to hear today!! Thanks so much!!

    Love you Susie!

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  8. You have no idea how perfect the timing on this blog was. God's using you Susie and I am SO thankful for that!!

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  9. Wow, thanks for that Susie, I've never thought about the spiritual battle going on for me. Question though, for whoever wants to answer it. I usually have a list of things to pray for, otherwise I forget. But how long should I pray for them? Eventually I get a HUGE list, and I either fall asleep or have to leave by the time I finish! So am I just taking on too much, need to "quit" sooner, or which or what?
    Thanks,
    -Alana D.

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