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…
For three weeks Daniel had been intensely praying and fasting, yet he had received no answers. Was God not listening? Was he praying for the wrong thing? Is prayer useless? Gabriel told Daniel that the reason it had taken so long was because a demonic being known as the ‘prince of the kingdom of Persia’ had been resisting him. Apparently Satan not only tries to keep us from praying; he also tries to keep God from answering.
We read in the book of Ephesians – “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.” (see Ephesians 6:12)
Notice that Paul tells us that our real battle is with the forces of evil and that these forces are arranged in military fashion. Many believe that Satan himself was once an archangel (chief angel) known as Lucifer. It is believed that in the beginning there were three archangels: Gabriel, Michael and Lucifer. Scripture teaches us that Lucifer rebelled against God and was removed from his honorable position. (see Isaiah 14:12-15) The book of Revelation also seems to teach that when he fell, he took with him one-third of the angels. (see Revelation 12:4) Because Gabriel referred to a demon as the ‘prince of the kingdom of Persia’, it is believed by many that Satan not only has an orderly army of demons, he also has them strategically stationed.
According to Gabriel, this spiritual battle went on for three weeks. Why three weeks? Daniel 10:2 teaches us that Daniel had been praying for three weeks. Apparently as soon as Daniel started praying, Satan started resisting. But finally Gabriel was able to defeat the demon and come to Daniel. What gave Gabriel the victory?
Part of the victory came because of the power of another archangel named Michael. “…but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me…” The book of Jude teaches us that Michael is also an archangel and apparently the military leader of the angels in heaven.
Part of the victory came because of the prayers of Daniel. We must remember that all the time the angels were wrestling with the demons, Daniel was wrestling in prayer. Though Daniel couldn’t see what was happening between him and heaven, God was using his prayers to help heaven’s angels to gain the victory.
As I have written these devotionals, I have been encouraged to pray. I am aware of certain areas where Satan is trying to get the upper hand and I can’t let him. I must wrestle in prayer while God’s angels wrestle with demons.