The moment you began praying, a command was given . . . for God loves you very much.
- Daniel 9:23 NLT
My sister, Joyce, and her husband have owned a car repair business for many years. A few months ago, they began to have some serious problems with one of the business owners in their neighborhood. This man began allowing his son to manage his business affairs, and this son quickly became a thorn in my sister's, and her husband's, side. A disagreement broke out about parking spaces the two businesses had formerly shared, and what began as a minor altercation became a major battle. My sister became anxious and depressed, and she called on me for prayer and words of encouragement. I assured her that her problem was not too big for God to handle, and we began to stand in faith for His intervention. We prayed for godly wisdom and guidance, and we asked the Lord to show us what Joyce's part was in bringing a speedy resolution to the problem. A few weeks later, my sister called me to say that she had ordered new parking signs to clearly establish boundaries between her own property lines, and her neighbor's. She told me that the very day these signs arrived, she discovered that the business next door had been sold. We thanked and praised God because, not only had He delivered her from her disagreeable neighbor, but He had directed her steps so that her boundaries were clearly marked in advance of the new neighbor's arrival.
My sister's experience reminded me of some words spoken by an angel of God to the prophet, Daniel, after he had begun earnestly praying for his nation's deliverance. Daniel was told, "The moment you began praying, a command was given . . . for God loves you very much." (Daniel 9:23 NLT) When my sister first began praying for the Lord's help, she didn't see any signs to indicate that He had even heard her prayers. For a long time, she had to trust that God did indeed hear her pleas, and that He was busy working behind the scenes to bring her deliverance to pass. It wasn't until that day she received her new parking signs, and discovered that she would have new business neighbors, that she knew with certainty that the Lord had been working on her behalf all along.
I was greatly encouraged by my sister's experience, and you should be, too. It's a reminder of how our God begins working behind the scenes on our behalf as soon as we call on Him for help. King David knew this, and that's why He wrote--"The very day I call for help, the tide of battle turns. My enemies flee! This one thing I know: God is for me!" (Psalm 56:9 TLB) Just because we don't see any clear signs that the Lord is working on our problems, that doesn't mean that He's not doing exactly that. God does most of His work behind the scenes, and if we will remember that, we will be less tempted to lose heart and quit standing in faith for our victory before it comes to pass. The Book of Daniel reveals that sometimes the answers to our prayers are delayed because of resistance from evil forces in the spiritual realm. The angel that appeared to Daniel told him: "Don't be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days, the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me . . ." (Daniel 10:12-13 NLT) Satan and his cohorts are formidable enemies, but they're no match for God. As we pray and stand in faith for His help, God will move heaven and earth to see that we receive the victories He has in store for us. Today, rest assured that as long as you are seeking God's help, and trusting Him to come to your aid, He is busy working behind the scenes on your behalf. So hang in there, Beloved, because help is on the way!
Prayer: Lord, help me to always turn to You first when troubles arise. Teach me how to pray and stand in faith for the victories You don't want me to miss out on. Remind me that even when I don't see any tangible signs of Your involvement, You began working on my behalf the moment I began reaching out to You in prayer. Thank You, Lord, that even though my blessings may be delayed, they are guaranteed by You!
- J. M. Farro