What many of us don’t realize is that the Lord often uses angels to answer our prayer.
And because of this, one of the most important elements of successful prayer is perseverance. Never giving up. Continuing to pray even though nothing seems to be changing.
Because if Godly angels are involved, this invariably leads to a spiritual conflict, as they literally go behind enemy lines controlled by satanic angels and will face resistance (2 Corinthians 4:4).
In Acts 12, we read after King Herod had upped the persecution of the church to please the Jewish Priests, he ordered the arrest of the Apostle Peter.
Having just killed James, there was grave concern that Herod would also execute Peter.
And in Acts 12:5, we read that there was earnest prayer for the Apostle. The Greek word for earnest, ‘ektenos,’ means fervent and strenuous. And according to Strong’s the word is derived from another Greek word that means ‘fully stretched out’ and portrays the idea of persistent prayer. Prayer ‘without let up.’ Prayer ‘without ceasing.’
And this unrelenting and earnest prayer resulted in God dispatching an angel to break Peter out of jail, shortly after Herod had summoned the apostle for his possible execution.
And having been broken out of jail late at night, Peter went to a home where people were still praying for the Apostle’s deliverance.
Many of us are unaware of the role of angels in answered prayer, even in less dramatic ways than prison breakouts.
In Zechariah 3:1, we read that Satan was standing beside the High Priest, accusing him, resulting in Joshua being beaten down with condemnation and guilt.
How was it dealt with?
Since all this was happening in the spiritual realm, Joshua would have had no idea about what was happening. But he would have suddenly felt this cloud of condemnation lift as the angels dressed him in clean clothes in the unseen realm.
Because of the angelic involvement in answering prayer, persistence is vital, as they will invariably face satanic resistance.
There will be a spiritual battle.
We see that playing out in the Book of Daniel, when God dispatched angels to answer the prayer of Daniel.
Because of Jeremiah’s prophecy, Daniel realized that it was time for the Jews to return to the Promised Land from their captivity, and he began to pray and intercede.
In Daniel 10:1, we are told that the prophet received a revelation that there was a great war brewing, and he entered a 21-day period of fasting and prayer in order to receive understanding about what was going to be happening.
At the end of this three-week period, Daniel received an angelic visitation.
But the angel made the incredible statement that on the very first day that Daniel had started praying, God had dispatched this angel with the answer.
But it took 21 days to deliver the message (literally to answer Daniel’s prayer), because the Demonic angel over this region, the Prince of Persia, had hindered the godly angel.
The angel was only able to break through when Michael, the archangel, showed up to help.
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. (Daniel 10:12-13 NASV)
Daniel was totally unaware of the spiritual battle brewing over his prayer request.
So, what would have happened if Daniel had quit praying after a week or so? Would he have still received this answered prayer?
Maybe, similar to Daniel, our prayers are out for delivery, but haven’t arrived because we quit praying.