It was the hymnist William Cowper who wrote – “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.” No doubt Satan trembles because he knows that there is nothing you and I can do that is more powerful or effective than to pray. Yet so often we do not pray. Why are we so negligent in this important matter? Perhaps it is because Satan is constantly doing all that he can to keep us from it. In today’s study we will see how Satan opposed the prayer life of Daniel.
Daniel 10:12 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia…
First, we need to note that as soon as Daniel started praying, God began responding. Scripture teaches us that our prayers are very important to God; therefore, He is always eager to hear them and to respond accordingly.
But secondly, we need to note that God was not the only one who became active. So did the devil. The angel Gabriel told Daniel that he had been in battle with a demon for three weeks. Why three weeks? Because Daniel had been praying for three weeks. During Daniel’s entire time of praying, there was a spiritual battle going on in heaven. Are there such spiritual battles taking place in heaven today? Consider what it says in the book of Revelation –
Revelation 12:7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
This particular battle will not take place until during the middle of the Tribulation Period, yet from this passage we see that Satan is always doing everything he can to hinder the will of God. The Apostle Paul tells us –
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
According to Paul, Satan has a hierarchy of demons which he strategically uses to resist us. Satan’s demons try to tempt us to sin; they try to discourage us and make us give up; and perhaps most of all, they try to keep us from praying. We will return to our story of Daniel again tomorrow, but as we close today let me remind you once again of the words of William Cowper – “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.” I say it’s time you and I make the devil do some shaking!!