The Other Side of Prayer

Daniel 10

Jerry A Collins




*               What happens behind the scenes when I pray?

*               What relationship do angels have with my prayers?

*               What is the nature of the spiritual conflict between angels?


A couple of nights ago Ruth and I was awakened by our bedroom door slamming shut. Ruth bolted upright and screamed only half awake. We had a window partly open and windy conditions had made the door slam shut. I sat up and then she said I just had a terrible nightmare. Of course, after having one of these it can make it difficult to get back to sleep right away. Isnt it interesting that we only have nightmares when we are sleeping? The sense of dread and impending doom can shake any of us to the core of our being. It is frightening and scarey. It may take a while for us to calm down and realize that it was only a dream. Daniel becomes terrified by a vision he has in Daniel 10.


(1) In the 3rd yr of Cyrus, King of Persia, a message was revealed to Daniel. This would have been around 536BC. Exiles had begun to return from Babylon to Jerusalem with the return of Zerubbabel (Ezra 1-2). Israels captivity had ended. Jerusalem was being reoccupied and the nation seemed at peace.

(2) However, the revelation given to Daniel in this message is described as one of great conflict. Vs 14 suggests that this revelation of great conflict is something that would happen to his people, Israel, in the latter days. This revelation apparently shattered any hope Daniel might have had that Israel would enjoy her new freedom now and finally have peace in her nation as they returned back to it. This message reveals instead that the nation would be involved in many conflicts. Now he says he understands this revelation and message. The previous visions left questions in his mind not fully resolved. What Daniel seems to comprehend is the general characteristics of this message sufficiently not to be left perplexed like in Daniel 8:27 when physically sick because of the vision. There is more understanding about to come later in this chapter and through 11 & 12.

(3) How did Daniel respond to this revelation contained in this message? Just like I suggested Ruth responded to her nightmare. This was a nightmare to Daniel! The breadth and scope of this information did a number of things to him physically and emotionally. First, he mourned for 3 weeks afterward vs 2. (Probably because he saw the destruction of the 70th week--Trib Mt 24; Rev 6-18). That included abstaining from choice foods vs 3. It also motivated him to pray during this period of mourning, waiting on God in prayer concerning his peoples destiny vs 12.


During this intense period of mourning, fasting and praying for 3 weeks an angel appears sent from God to give Daniel understanding about the vision he received. After 21 days, he was on banks of Tigris and looking he saw a man who we learn was an angel vs 4. We know this to be true because vs 12 says so. We can make several observations about angels from this encounter and also understand the message of this chapter with these. (1) Angels are messengers from God in answering our prayers vs 4 & 12 (Acts 12:5-6, 11). (2) They can look like a man since he was called a man vs 5. Angels look like we do. They have two legs, two eyes, two ears, one mouth etc even though they are spiritual beings without a physical body. (3) They have very simple dress. Notice that he had clothes on, dressed in linen, with a belt of pure gold around his waist vs 5. (4) Angels can be described in physical terms. Notice his physical descriptionbright, eyes like torches, arms and feet like polished bronze, words like sounds of water vs 6. (5) They can restrict their appearance to whom ever they choose. Here, Daniel alone saw the vision vs 7. Daniels companions had fled away to hide from the shining of the brilliant light they had seen. If an angel does not want you to see him, you wont. (6) The appearance of an angel can be frightening enough to terrify us and even cause us to faint or fall asleep vs 9. Notice, there was great dread vs 7, no strength lose color vs 8 and fear vs 12 & 19. (7) Angels know the spiritual condition of people vs 11. The angel was aware of Daniels situation and Daniels being considered highly esteemed. So much so that the angel declared that he had been sent because of it. (8) Good angels cannot sin but they are not like God. They are not all-powerful. They are not omniscient or omnipotent. This angel had wrestled for 21 days before he went back to get help to overcome an enemy vs 13. The demons of Persia were withstanding him for the 3 weeks Daniel was praying so the angel could not get through. Prayer

is a way we can engage in the unseen spiritual warfare going on all about us, unseen by human eyeslike in answer to Daniels prayer. (9) There is different power among the angels. Michael had more power than the other angel. The prince of Persia, a demon, had more power than the angel vs 13. There are not only human causes to consider as we pray but also angelic activity on the other side of our prayers. (10) There is a plurality of leadership and a hierarchy of power within the angelic network vs 13. It was one of the chief princes Michael, who came to the other good angels aid. So the angels, both good and bad, are organized and differing power. (11) Angels watch out for and help each other vs 13. Michael came to help me is what this angel describes. It seems that Satan mirrors the organization and hierarchy of the good angels who attempt to circumvent the work of God through good angels. (12) Some demons or combinations of demons are stronger than some angels or combinations of angels vs 13. But together the angels are stronger than the demons because they send them out of heaven in Rev 9 and also prevail here with the Prince of Persia. So there is a real, continual war between angels and demons and gods people. (13) Angels are able to strengthen humans, using words of encouragement as well as physical strength vs 15-19. With this supernatural strengthening, Daniel was ready to receive further details of the message about the revelation of warfare between Israel and her enemies until the Prince of Peace should come. We should pray for physical strength and encouragement for Gods servants. (14) Angels have access to a heavenly bible the writing of truth some sort of decree of God vs 21 that we do not have access too. A word that gives greater detail or information or understanding about Gods plan. (15) Angels are agents of God to influence human government vs. 20-11:1. What appeared as an earthly matter in 5:21 & chp 8 now is shown to have a heavenly or angelic counterpart to it. So the rise and fall of kings, dictators and regimes is according to Gods sovereign plan which involves both men and angels. The physical and the spiritual. The temporal and the eternal.

1. Persevere and endure in your walk with the Lord. Here Daniel shows us in mid-80s how to live in a foreign land. We too are foreigners. How to outlive dictator after dictator (Albania), crisis after crisis, regime after regime and to still stand there and be there.

2. God is always at work in and thru our prayers. No prayer is in vain!