March 16, 2011
Read: Daniel 9:20-27
While I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel . . . reached me. —Daniel 9:21
Daniel poured out his heart to God (Dan. 9:2). He had read Jeremiah and rediscovered God’s promise that Israel’s captivity in Babylon would last 70 years. So, in an effort to represent his people before God, Daniel fasted and prayed. He pleaded with God not to delay in rescuing His people (v.19).
When we pray, there are things we can know and other things we cannot. For instance, we have the assurance that God will hear our prayer if we know Him as our heavenly Father through faith in Jesus, and we know that His answer will come according to His will. But we don’t know when the answer will come or what it will be.
For Daniel, the answer to his prayer came in miraculous fashion, and it came immediately. While he was praying, the angel Gabriel arrived to provide the answer. But the nature of the answer was as surprising as the quick reply. While Daniel asked God about “70 years,” the answer was about a prophetic “70 weeks of years.” Daniel asked God for an answer about the here and now, but God’s answer had to do with events thousands of years into the future.
Focused as we are with our immediate situation, we may be shocked by God’s answer. Yet we can know that the answer will be for His glory.
I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know—God answers prayer;
I leave my prayers with Him alone,
Whose will is wiser than my own. —Hickok
God’s answers to our prayers may exceed our expectations.