John Wesley was convinced that the prayers of God’s people rather than his preaching accounted for the thousands who came to Christ through his ministry. That’s why he said, “God will do nothing except in answer to prayer.” An overstatement? Yes. But the fact is that our praying is a powerful weapon in the war between God and Satan.
In today’s Scripture reading, Daniel was so disturbed by a revelation about Israel’s future that he could do nothing except fast and pray. Three weeks later a heavenly messenger appeared, saying that God had sent him when Daniel prayed, but that the prince of Persia had detained him (10:13). This “prince” was an evil spirit who sought to influence the rulers of Persia to oppose God’s plan. He had detained God’s messenger, until the archangel Michael came to his aid.
A cosmic conflict between good and evil is continually being fought in the invisible spirit world. Paul reminded us that it involves Christians. He listed the spiritual armor and weaponry we need for these battles (Ephesians 6:13-17), and then he added “praying always” (v.18).
Our prayers can have a significant impact on the outcome of those spiritual battles. May we, therefore, faithfully pray as we fight the good fight (1 Timothy 1:18).
Something happens when we pray,
Powers of evil lose their sway,
We gain strength and fear gives way—
Therefore, let us pray. —Anon.
Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.