by Sheri Schofield
The other day I saw a beautiful red fox running across the road and into the forest. Though we are surrounded by wildlife, we seldom see some of the animals. When they hear someone approaching, they stand perfectly still and hope you won’t see them.
That works for most animals, but not for the fox because it is such a colorful creature. Other animals don’t see the fox when it stands still because they are colorblind.
Though some people also struggle with colorblindness, every one of us struggles with another kind of blindness: we are angel-blind. Angels have spirit bodies, and we cannot see spirits unless God lets us. I think we would be greatly frightened if we could actually see what goes on in the spirit realm, where God’s angels do battle with the spiritual forces of darkness.
The prophet Daniel spoke of such a battle in Daniel 10. God had given him a frightening dream about a future war, and Daniel was greatly distressed over it. What did it mean? When would it happen? He needed an answer from God in order to be at rest in his spirit.
Daniel knew things about the spiritual battle surrounding the inhabitants of earth. He knew that fasting and prayer somehow helped God communicate with humanity. So he chose to give up meat dishes and wine – luxuries provided by Babylon – while he prayed.
For three weeks Daniel mourned, fasted and prayed. Finally, he received an answer that went way beyond his expectations! An angel appeared. It terrified Daniel! The angel was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold around his waist. His body was like topaz, a transparent stone that can be gold or blue or green. His face was like lightning. His eyes were like flaming torches. His arms and legs were like polished bronze, gleaming in the light. His voice was like the sound of a multitude of people, strong and loud. The vision of this angel overwhelmed Daniel at first.
The angel told him that the moment Daniel had asked for an answer to the vision, God had sent the angel with the interpretation. “But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days,” the angel explained. “Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the King of Persia.” (Daniel 10:13, NIV) After the angel delivered the message from God, he told Daniel, “Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come.” (Daniel 10:20, NIV)
Imagine what a battle that must have been – the angel of God fighting the satanic ruler over Persia! The spiritual realm must have roared with the conflict!
Those spiritual battles continue, and are happening all around us. Though we cannot see the spirits doing battle, it is real. It is constant. And somehow our devoted prayers aid God’s angels in breaking through the ranks of our enemy to bring us God’s supplies for our needs, helping us to overcome the evils of this world and bring new believers into the kingdom of Jesus.
Prayer matters! It clears the path for God’s angels to reach us, to help us, to restore our hearts when we are overwhelmed, like the angel restored Daniel’s heart. Through prayer, we enter into the light and presence of God. We find grace for each day. We receive wisdom to reach our neighbors with the good news of Jesus.
Take heart! Your prayers are not in vain! They are necessary for victory.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand . . . And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:12-13, 18 NIV
About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
Sheri’s book, The Prince And The Plan, is a beautifully illustrated, interactive picture book, written for children ages 4-8, that helps parents lead their children into a lasting, saving relationship with Jesus. It explains abstract concepts through words and interactive, multi-sensory activities. Useful for children’s ministry as well.
Join the Conversation: Have you sensed a spiritual battle was raging in your life at times?