“He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding.”(Daniel 9:22 ESV)
Daniel chapter nine still captivates me. I’d thought last time we’d wrapped it up at point five simply as G-d answers. But I believe there is more here to cover. To recap, a number of points came to me from Daniel nine, as follows:
Point 1: Daniel understood something distinct from his reading of the Word;
Point 2: Daniel sought the LORD in prayer, sackcloth, and ashes (v2,3);
Point 3: Daniel put it this way, “speaking, praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people. . .” (v20);
Point 4: Daniel presented petitions to the LORD (v20);
Point 5: G-d answered Daniel.
No Daniel’s intercession, Daniel’s prayer, is to understand. That prayer time took Daniel through confession for himself and G-d’s people, Israel. In a sense, Daniel prayed for Israel’s healing and restoration to its place in the G-d’s Kingdom. Daniel Chapter Nine might be a model prayer for an intercessor praying for his or her nation.
There is another type of intercession that we’ve mentioned briefly: interceding for an individual in obedience to the Lord. Let’s call again upon an example from the life of Rees Howells, intercessor of Wales. Mr. Howells knew that through various actions in obedience to the Spirit, he would gain a “place” or “position” in intercession. He would arrive at a point of faith, an assurance of the answer, a “realization of things hoped for, the proof of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). In many instances throughout Mr. Howells life, he was called to announce in advance the answer to a particular prayer, thus displaying his faith. Now this isn’t like the stories of prayer meetings when a “healing prophet” has people destroy their glasses, telling them they’ll be healed, only to have to be led from the chapel when the healing doesn’t occur. Mr. Howells might be in prayer for an individual any where from four to six months.
In one particular test, Mr. Howells was directed by the Spirit of G-d to announce the healing of his uncle—who hadn’t walked any distance from pain in thirty years—in four-and-a-half months, on May 15th. To make it even harder on Mr. Howells, and to ensure that he take no credit for the healing, no praise, Mr. Howells was instructed by G-d to leave the area for a couple of weeks just before the date of the healing. Mr. Howells’s uncle was shown by G-d that after the healing, he would walk the three miles to chapel on Sunday. On the day of the healing, two friends of Mr. Howells walked through the uncle’s town on the way to have tea with Mr. Howells. When they were at tea, they said they’d heard nothing of any healing in the town while passing through. Norman Grubb, in his biography “Rees Howells, Intercessor,” wrote: “ It was a day of testing [for Mr. Howells]; and the one topic at the tea table was: Had Uncle Dick been healed? Although his best friend failed to hold out in his believing, God kept His servant steady until eleven o’clock on Monday night, when some of his friends called out under his window “It was marvelous to see your uncle in chapel!” They thought he knew all about it, as they had sent word to him on Sunday; but the messenger entrusted the giving of the message to another, and it never arrived.
“Mr. Howells’ comment was, “If I had doubted, would I have rejoiced? The Lord will never give the witness unless we believe; and if we believe we can afford the delay.”
Mr. Grubb summed it up when he said that “there was something greater than the healing—it was the further confirmation that the position of intercession had been gained and could be used in any case where God willed it.”
Let me point out again, Mr. Howells was called by the Holy Spirit to intercede where G-d desired to do a work. It began small, and progressed as “positions of intercession” were gained. It was work. It meant Mr. Howells’s humiliation, in some cases, and a great sacrifice. Mr. Grubb wrote: “But if at the beginning the world was affecting him, by the end it was he who was affecting the world, for people sensed the presence of God with him, and said so. Even some with no religious faith would take their hats off when they passed him in the streets.”
For Rees Howells, the fasting, the hours in prayer, and the almost outlandish actions required of him, were not simply lessons in living, but living through a death to the influence of the world upon him. He know from personal encounters, personal experience, what Paul wrote, “The slight trouble [affliction] of the passing hour results in a solid glory past all comparison,” (2 Cor 4:17)
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine upon you and through you all your days on Earth. And let us meet together in Heaven with our Lord, that we may raise our hands, cast our crowns at His feet together, you and I, as we worship our G-d, our King. AMEN.