Prayer Gives Power over Fear
Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. … “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” Daniel 10:12
Daniel received a terrifying vision concerning the people of God. For three weeks he pondered, fasted, and prayed, mourning over what he’d seen. He could tell there would be major conflict. He may have feared for the people who’d recently returned to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Or he may have seen the rulers of the world gathered for a future war that John would call Armageddon (Revelation 16:16).
Then Daniel had a visitor from heaven. His glorious appearance, though he looked like a man, caused Daniel to tremble and lose all his strength. He couldn’t speak.
“Do not be afraid, Daniel,” the visitor said. “I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come” (Daniel 10:14).
The man called Daniel “highly esteemed.” Daniel had lived an exemplary life after being brought to the palace in Babylon. He and his friends asked to be allowed to eat vegetables and not defile themselves with the king’s delicacies (Daniel 1:8-15). Daniel had the gift of interpreting visions and dreams ((v.17) He’d interpreted for king Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:1-45) and Belshazzar (5:1-30). God protected him when he was thrown into the lion’s den (6:1-28).
The heavenly visitor’s esteem for Daniel came mainly from Daniel’s humility and his determination to understand God’s ways. The man described the spiritual warfare that was happening in heaven as Daniel prayed. This warfare would continue and kings on earth would rise and fall until the end of time.
As we look around us, we see wars and threats of more wars, a worldwide pandemic, violence in the streets, and lawlessness. We may feel helpless and weak. How do we even begin to pray?
We can pray for wisdom to discern right from wrong. We can believe our words are heard. God will act—maybe even send an angel or two to help us. He’ll give us supernatural strength. And we have something Daniel didn’t have—the Holy Spirit dwelling within us to help us pray (Romans 8:26).
When you feel fear rising within you, pray. Even when you can’t express your feelings and concerns aloud, believe that God will hear what you can’t say.
Who was Daniel’s glorious visitor? Some think it was Jesus Christ because Daniel’s description resembles John’s later description (Revelation 1:12-16). But what does Daniel 10:13 say that indicates that this was not Jesus Christ?
Read Psalm 66:16-20. What would stop God from answering your prayers according to the psalmist? Encourage others by telling them about the times God answered your prayers.
Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. Prayer is a weapon that can demolish powerful strongholds. It is one of the most important parts of your spiritual armor—see Ephesians 6:17-18. Who are you praying for today? Don’t forget all your leaders, they need your prayers.
Nancy J. Baker
This devotion is part of our “Do Not Be Afraid” series.