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.’
In this passage Daniel has a vision of a man who appears to him by the Tigris River and speaks these words. The first thing that strikes me is that frequent reassurance seen throughout scripture: “Do not be afraid”.
When we look closer at the man’s words we learn two important things about Daniel: his request of God (to gain understanding) and his position in coming to God with that request (with humility). Ask God for understanding and humility. Know that your words are heard and God will move in response to them.
Here are two things to consider in your prayer time today:
1. How am I coming to God?
Humble yourself before Him.
First, let’s look at Daniel’s position in coming to God. Daniel was humble in character and in prayer. But what does being humble look like? It means we see ourselves as God sees us. Not as meek, defeated or inadequate - as we may be tempted to believe - but as children of God. And like all children we have a lot to learn, but with a lot of potential to do so.
Why should we be humble? Because only in seeing ourselves as God sees us, can we fully acknowledge how powerful He is. Soloman said to God: “I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties,” (1 Kings 3:7) and God gave him wisdom the like of which no one had ever seen. Ask God to make you like a child before him, trusting and ready to learn.
2. What am I asking God for?
Set your mind to gain understanding.
Think over different areas of your life and your walk with God. What do you need to gain understanding in? Where do you need wisdom or help to live a life that glorifies Him more?
Or do you simply want to know more about God’s character? Ask for wisdom and knowledge that will glorify Him. Be specific: ‘Help me to understand your message in this passage’, ‘Give me knowledge for that task at work’ or ‘Give me advice for that friend having a tough time’.
Like Daniel, set your mind to gain that wisdom. Listen to God, read his word. Take action: read books, listen to podcasts, speak to friends and mentors. God’s answer could be in you doing something to help find that understanding for yourself.
Two things to remember:
Do not be afraid to fully humble yourself before God and become like a child. It does not mean you are taking a step backwards in your faith, but one forwards. It is you putting yourself in a position where you fully succumb to the Lord. Do not be afraid to ask for understanding. It might take some work and exploration, but it could lead to big things that will glorify Him.
Your words are heard and God will come in response to them. You have incredible power when you pray because you are moving an Almighty God to take action.
It is so exciting to think what the Lord can do through our requests. Ask for bigger things and have faith that He will move in response!