I don’t know about you but one of the most frustrating things in life is trying to listen to the radio when I am driving and suddenly there is all kinds of static!
This is especially true when I am on the road cruising, and I am tuned into my all-time favorite music stations and life is deemed by me to be so very good.
I am just driving along when there is an important ball game on, and the static arrives, and your ears and nerves start to hurt from it, then you carefully scroll through the channels and all you can find is a station of some other noise that you cannot stand to listen, and it seems to be right between the two numbers.
Everything was great. Cruising the highways. Now the static arrives. You can’t quite seem to dial your place of “ultimate” peace back in. You try to fine tune with all of your might but it isn’t distinct or clear.
Delays, Distractions, Disturbances and Worldly Static interference prevail.
This is never truer then when you are forced to try to turn over to an AM radio station while driving! You begin to question the signal strength of the station.
Static on the radio is one thing but static when you are trying to hear God is even more frustrating. There is an example from the pages of God’s Word of static when it comes to hearing from God that I want to remind us all about.
Daniel 9:1-6 NKJV
Daniel’s Prayer for the People
9 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— 2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. 4 And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. 6 Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
Let’s set the scene.
Daniel and the Children of Israel are in captivity.
Because of their own rebellion, hard heartedness and disobedience, prophecy has been fulfilled and they are slaves to Babylon.
Familiar with Scripture, Daniel knows the foretold length of the bondage is coming to an end and so he begins to call out to God to remember them.
He reminds God of the promise that the captivity will last a certain period of times – 70 years.
Daniel 9:7-17 NKJV
7 O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.
8 “O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. 10 We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. 11 Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore, the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him. 12 And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.
13 “As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly!
16 “O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. 17 Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake [a]cause Your face to shine on [b]Your sanctuary, which is desolate.
Daniel Fasts. Daniel Prays and Daniel approaches God. He acknowledges their wrongdoing and then he reminds God of an example of God’s ability to rescue.
Some of us would hear God if we would simply acknowledge our own culpability and responsibility for the situation, we are in.
But we also need to learn a key here in getting response from God.
We pray to God. We remind God, even though He hasn’t forgotten, what He has done in the past. In the process, we are reminded that He can do more than we ever dreamed of or expected! It increases our faith to reflect on His faithfulness.
“While I was pouring out my heart, baring my sins and the sins of my people Israel, praying my life out before my God, interceding for the holy mountain of my God—while I was absorbed in this praying, the humanlike Gabriel, the one I had seen in an earlier vision, approached me, flying in like a bird about the time of evening worship. “He stood before me and said, ‘Daniel, I have come to make things plain to you. You had no sooner started your prayer when the answer was given. And now I’m here to deliver the answer to you. You are much loved! So, listen carefully to the answer, the plain meaning of what is revealed:
So, he gets immediate response. But watch and listen – here comes the static.
Daniel 10:2-3, 12-14
“During those days, I, Daniel, went into mourning over Jerusalem for three weeks. I ate only plain and simple food, no seasoning or meat or wine. I neither bathed nor shaved until the three weeks were up.
“‘Relax, Daniel,’ he continued, ‘don’t be afraid. From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard, and I set out to come to you. But I was waylaid by the angel-prince of the kingdom of Persia and was delayed for a good three weeks. But then Michael, one of the chief angel-princes, intervened to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia. And now I’m here to help you understand what will eventually happen to your people. The vision has to do with what’s ahead.’
In this instance Daniel goes from immediate communication to kneeling and fasting and wading and waiting through static.
He prays for 3 solid weeks and there is no response.
Then 24 days later an angel shows up and says the first moment you prayed you were heard but I ran in to static.
The enemy resisted.
Remember our enemy is called the prince and power of the air!
He works in the air ways to convolute and delay deliverance.
His power is best exhibited in the air ways.
Think about that a moment –
the enemy flexes his muscles in our lives by trying his best to control what we hear. That is why we so often see people derailed and detoured by something they hear – or more often than not – they thought they heard.
The truth it what they thought they heard was actually a twisted version of what was actually said. So, in order to be able to defeat this power of the air we need to learn some lessons based on Daniel’s experience that will help us tune in.
1. We need to hear that we are heard.
I want you to notice an incredible truth from this account.
This passage says on two different occasions that from the moment Daniel even thought about or began to pray that he was heard. The rate of response varied but the rate of God hearing Daniel’s request was consistent. Immediate!
Our petitions and requests hit God’s ears not when they cross our lips but when they cross our mind! I believe it is so important to recognize this because I have noticed we tend to think because we struggle to hear that God struggles to hear.
So strong was this on my heart today I just write to assure you today that even when static interference has become the new standard of normal for us as we pray and try hard to listen for and harder still to hear God, even when we, like Daniel, consistently long for response but hear nothing we all need to know:
God absolutely hears us from the very exact moment we begin to think about it.
There may even be occasions when the answer may seem to arrive too late to us, we need to, instead trust, to rest in the knowledge that the answer is on its way.
Isaiah 65:24 – Before they call, I will answer while they are still speaking, I will hear!
Maybe in old song form – Oh yes, the answer is on the way, this I know Jesus said it I believe it to be so. Our Heavenly Father knows the need before we pray, and we can be rest assured the answers on the way!
2. Static reveals resistance and should cause us to rejoice.
I pray that I am about to blow your mind . . . Interference reveals interference!
Why bother even telling you something so elementary?
Because I get genuinely concerned that a lot of us make the mistake of equating silence as a sign or indication of God’s lack of concern or love. I have watched people get mad at God because they fail to realize that if there is static it doesn’t mean God doesn’t care it means the enemy is at work to stop their answer.
In fact, I am going to make an odd statement to you today!
If you are confronted with static, you should rejoice!
The more static you are encountering the more encouraged you should be because that is a sure and certain indication that the enemy knows a response is coming from God and he is doing everything he can to stop you from hearing it.
More Static Interference should strengthen your resolve. Too often we let static stop us in our tracks. The first little taste of any interference and we turn off the radio. Which brings me to the third to be valued lesson we can gain from Daniel.
3. The proper response to static is persistence.
Daniel is doing his very best to hear and instead there is nothing but static and silence. But notice he doesn’t give up. He keeps listening. He keeps tuning in.
No answer after day one he is persistent. No answer after week 1 he is even more persistent. No response 10 days in he yet persists. Nothing after 2 weeks . . . No change leads to no change . . . He continues. Answer released on day one but not received until day 24. Persistence 100% wins wars, persistence 100% prevails.
Some of us are always stopping one day short, one service short, one moment short of reception of miracle. Keep fine tuning.
If resisted, don’t back up, don’t give up, don’t let up instead press in harder.
If the enemy is resisting this hard and is resisting this long the answer must surely and certainly and most absolutely 1000% be worth all of the wait.
We can’t become too soon frustrated with static that we change channels.
Some of us have been praying for months even years and it is like tuning into and hearing and listening to an AM station at night in response – 100% static.
Why such a level of static?
Why does God seem to take long to answer prayers?
Sometimes God waits to answer our prayers because He trusts us to make the right decision.
Other times, God requires us to patiently wait for an answer so we can build our faith and trust in Him.
And on some occasions, God gives us answers, but they may not be what we’d hoped for, instead the answers are exactly what God knows we 100% need.
What we can learn from Daniel about delayed answers to prayer
The Lord promises to respond to our prayers, particularly the prayers we prayed in faith.
While that may be true, there are time when we feel like God’s not responding to us.
We’ve prayed and prayed but the answers just don’t come when we want them to.
These delays frustrate us.
What do we do when the answers to our prayers see, to come late?
How do we respond when God’s responses to our cries and prayers seem slow in coming?
We keep praying in faith.
Many of us tend to point the blame on God when the answers to our prayers seem late. We tend to ask Him “why” the answers don’t come, “why” they arrived late, or even “why doesn’t He hear us.”
We are always quick to blame God who actually knows what we will pray for before we pray, responds in the fastest time possible
– right at the very exact moment we pray.
Actually, we are the ones who should keep praying when the answers to our prayers seem delayed, not God.
Consider Daniel, who experienced such a delay.
Here are some things we can learn from his experience:
God’s answer is sent immediately
We read in Daniel 10:12 that God sends His reply the moment He hears our prayers.
“Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.””
The enemy, however, seeks to delay or prevent God’s response from arriving to us
We then read in the following verse how the enemy prevented Daniel from receiving God’s reply in the soonest time possible.
“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days…”
This means there’s a war in the heavenlies for the answers to our prayers.
Are we going to stop praying just because the answer is delayed?
Are we going to quit on God because “He doesn’t seem to respond”?
I absolutely, fervently pray that we don’t.
In fact, I pray that we respond exactly like Daniel did when his prayers remain unanswered:
He fasted and kept praying for a time until he received the answers.
“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” (Daniel 10:2-3)
Soon enough, the answers did arrive. They arrived because God made them arrive:
“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.” (Daniel 10:13)
Friends, God does answer our prayers, but the devil seeks to discourage us from seeking God.
The more we pray, the more the enemy tries to hinder our prayers from being answered. We should never ever give up on praying for God’s answers to arrive.
Keep praying. Lean in harder. Lean in longer.
Be persistent in Prayer –
1 Thessalonians 5:14-18 NKJV
14 Now we [a]exhort you, brethren, warn those who are [b]unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
In the meantime, ….
While the static interference seems to go on forever and ever – (lingering amen)
Romans 12:9-13 NKJV
Behave Like a Christian
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient[a] in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given[b] to hospitality.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Heavenly Father, what a comfort and joy to me that You know and understand the deepest longings of my heart. Thank You that You know the end before the beginning, and hear and answer my prayers before the request forms in my heart or crosses my lips. Thank You for beautifying my requests and providing the answer that is best for me. Teach me to pray into Your will for my life, and align my heart’s desires to Your perfect will. This I ask in Jesus’ name, AMEN.