The Lord touches every servant who is faithful in prayer. He seeks out those who are willing to discipline themselves in order to hear his voice. The Bible calls this attitude “setting the heart.” Daniel writes, “Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes” (Daniel 9:3).
Daniel then tells us, “Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God … the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering” (9:20-21). In short, Daniel is saying, “God touched me while I was seeking him in intense prayer.”
Daniel makes it clear that he did not get his understanding of God’s Word by studying under learned men or gain his knowledge of future events from Babylon’s institutions. Nobody could teach him to interpret dreams that were supernaturally given. No, Daniel declares, “While I was speaking in prayer … he informed me, and talked with me, and said, ‘O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand” (9:21-22).
Simply put, Daniel’s prayers brought forth a word from God’s throne (see Daniel 10:12 and 14). What kind of prayer was Daniel engaged in that prompted such a visitation? Scripture tells us he had spent three weeks in utter brokenness: “I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all” (10:2-3). For twenty-one days Daniel humbled himself and set his heart to receive divine understanding.
During this time, Daniel was making a declaration of war: “Lord, I won’t leave your presence until I discern what you are doing.” Right now, God’s people need a word from heaven as never before. Never in history have so many multitudes been left weary and sick from dead, dry sermons.
You may say, “Well, I can’t spend hours a day praying.” But you can “set your heart” to talk with the Father daily and worship him in your heart constantly. Your discipline in humble and broken prayer will bring great rewards.