“Your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”
How often do we send a text message to a friend, in hopes of having a question answered quickly? On some phones, it can even show that the recipient has read the message. So we wait anxiously for a reply. Mere moments may have passed, yet we can grow frustrated, groaning our annoyance at the delay. But at some point irritation erodes into worry; we then begin to wonder whether the lack of response means there is a problem between us and the other person. Eventually, when a reply comes we are then relieved to see that the relationship is fine. It had simply just been an issue with sorting out the details needed to answer the question.
We can see the example is the Bible as well. Daniel had received a vision of great war and became frightened. He fasted and prayed for three weeks, yet no answer came to him. I wonder if he started to feel like us when the text message isn’t answered yet but we know that it’s been read. But the angel of the Lord appeared and said that his words had been heard “since the first day.” In the meantime, the angel explained that he had been battling on behalf of those prayers that Daniel had made. Though Daniel didn’t know it at first, God was at work during each of the twenty-one days that elapsed between his first prayer and the angel’s coming.
The confidence that God hears our prayers can cause us to become anxious when His reply doesn’t come when we want it to. We are prone to wonder whether He cares. Yet Daniel’s experience reminds us that God is at work on behalf of those He loves even when it isn’t obvious to us. That we must learn to trust that when God says He hears our prayers and only has plans to prosper us. That it will happen when He wants it to and when the details have been sorted out.