Daniel 9:20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision…
As soon as Daniel began to pray, God began to move. Scripture says that God sent the angel Gabriel to Daniel to tell him, “As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you…”
As I consider this, I am reminded of the story of a priest named Zacharias. Scripture says that Zacharias had been praying for years for a son. Probably there were times when he wondered if God was hearing his prayers. Then one day, as he entered the temple, he saw an angel. The angel said to him, “Fear not, your prayers have been heard…” (see Luke 1:13). A similar incident occurs in the book of Acts. A Roman centurion by the name of Cornelius prayed and served God faithfully. Then one day an angel appeared to him, giving him the reassurance that his prayers had been heard. (see Acts 10:4)
Many of us can attest to the fact that sometimes when we pray, we receive an immediate answer. Yet there are other times when we don’t. I have prayed for weeks, months and even years over some matters and even to this day I have not received my answer. Why does God sometimes immediately answer our prayers and other times He doesn’t?
It has been said that God answers our prayers in one of three ways. Sometimes He says ‘yes’; sometimes He says ‘no’; and sometimes He says ‘wait.’ Yet regardless of what God says, we can rest assured that He always hears our prayers and that He always answers in some kind of a way.
I can’t help but be in awe as I read of how God sent an angel to give Daniel the answer to his prayer. The Bible says that angels are ‘ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to those who are the heirs of salvation.’ (see Hebrews 1:14) If angels are sent out to minister to God’s people, perhaps part of their ministry to help us with our praying.