The following lesson builds on the principle from Daniel 9-Prayer is a response to God’s Word. Students will discover from Daniel’s experience that there is a spiritual battle taking place. Believers do not need to be afraid because God has given us spiritual armor and the the powerful weapon of prayer. This lesson was created for older students and can be used as a guide to give ideas how to teach your students.
Bible Story: Prayer is a powerful spiritual weapon
Scripture: Daniel 10
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Learning Goal: Students will learn that believers fight spiritual battles with the powerful weapon of prayer.
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Ephesians 6:12“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 spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.”
Bible Lesson: Prayer is a powerful spiritual weapon.
Last week we studied Daniel 9. We focused on the truth that prayer is a response to God’s Word. Daniel was reading Jeremiah and recognized that the 70 years of God’s people being prisoners (captives) in Babylon was coming to an end. In response Daniel confessed his sins and the sins of God’s people.
We are going to continue to study Daniel 10-11 and our focus will be: prayer is a powerful spiritual weapon.
Introduce memory verse: Ephesians 6:12“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 spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.”
Let’s do an exercise with our physical eyes. Raise your hand and name something you can see in this room. (Allow responses) Now let’s name things that are in this room that we cannot see. (Air, hearts, lungs, etc) We can’t see each others’ hearts but how do we know that they exist? Our hearts are pumping inside our bodies keeping us alive.
Even if we didn’t have the ability to physically see we would know that objects exist through other physical senses (hearing, touch, smell).
Our memory verse is telling us that there is an unseen world that exists that our physical eyes have never seen. Unlike being able to see pictures of the human body and the different organs that exist inside our bodies, we can only see this unseen world by faith in the Word of God.
As followers of Jesus Christ we believe that every part of the Word of God is true. Even if we have never seen with our own eyes the things we read about, we believe God.
We are going to look briefly at some passages of Scripture to help build an understanding of what it means that there is an unseen world. (If possible use pictures from the Scripture passages)
2 Kings 6:15-17 (Elisha prays for his servant to see the heavenly armies) (The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes-Kenneth Taylor P.99)
Ephesians 6:10-18 (Battle with rulers in the heavenly realms)
Now we are going to turn to Daniel 10. It is the third year of Cyrus the king of Persia. God gave Daniel another vision and this time gave him understanding of what the vision was about. The vision concerned a great battle.
This revelation overwhelmed Daniel and for 3 weeks he mourned and only ate food for the basic nourishment of his body. He didn’t eat special foods. What that might look like for us is not eating out at restaurants, eating desserts, treats etc. It would be eating plain food just to feed our bodies.
Let’s read Daniel 10:4-6. In these verses Daniel sees what Bible teachers call a Christophany. A Christophany is a pre-incarnate Jesus appearing in the Old Testament. Pre-incarnate is a big word that means the time before Jesus took on human form. Jesus is God and has always existed. When He entered our world as a baby in Bethlehem He took on flesh, (incarnate) and blood as the Son of Man.
Let’s look at Revelation 1:12-17 and see why Bible teachers call this appearance in Daniel a Christophany. (Choose two volunteers to write the descriptions from Daniel and Revelation to compare)
Others were with Daniel when he saw this vision. They did not see the vision but were so overwhelmed and terrified they ran and hid.
Daniel was left alone gazing at this great vision. All of Daniel’s strength left him. His face became deathly pale and he was helpless. He heard the man speaking and fell into a deep sleep.
An angel touched Daniel and lifted him to his hands and knees. Daniel was trembling. What Daniel was seeing and hearing was overwhelming.
Read Daniel 10:11. What does the angel call Daniel? (Highly esteemed, greatly loved)
This is the part of the lesson that we have been building up to. We are going to hear what happened to this angel as soon as Daniel began to pray. Choose volunteers to read Daniel 10:12-14. What happened to the angel on his way to answer Daniel? The prince of the Persian kingdom resisted him for 21 days. This prince is not an earthly prince. He is a demonic spirit.
God created angels. There are two kinds of angels: Angels who worship and serve the Most High God and those who left heaven when Satan was kicked out.
When Satan was kicked out of heaven 1/3 of God’s angels left with him. As God’s angels serve and worship Him, the angels that left with Satan do as he commands. This sounds like a science fiction movie. If we didn’t have God’s Word to back up that statement that’s what it could be. Here are the Scriptures for the statements about angels and Satan:
God created angels (Psalm 148:2,5-6)
Lucifer cast from heaven (Ezekiel 28:13-17, Isaiah 14:12-15)
One-third angels cast down (Revelation 12:4 Enduring Word)
Existence of demons (Deuteronomy 32:17, Matthew 8:31, Luke4:41, Romans 8:38, 1 Timothy 4:1, James 2:19)
The angel tells Daniel that while he was held captive (restrained by this demonic spirit) Michael an archangel given to protect God’s people Israel (Daniel 12:1, Jude 9) comes and helps him get free.
While Daniel is on the earth mourning and praying to the Most High God a spiritual battle is going on in a world that he cannot see. He may have felt that his prayers were going unanswered but his prayers were helping fight the spiritual battle.
Let’s read how Daniel responds to what this angel has revealed to him in verse 15. (He bowed his face to the ground and was speechless)
Pre-incarnate Jesus (verse16) touched Daniel’s lips and opened his mouth so he could speak to the angel. Daniel is still overwhelmed and Jesus touches him again and gives him strength. (Verse 18)
The angel has come to tell Daniel what is written in the Book of Truth. After he is finished speaking with Daniel he is returning to fight the prince of Persia and the prince of Greece who is coming. (Daniel 10:20-21)
Daniel 11:1-35 is an explanation of the earthly battles that will take place with future ruler. (For teacher-because this lesson is focused on the prayer as a powerful weapon in spiritual warfare the lesson doesn’t cover Daniel 11:1-35. If you are interested in teaching about the Battles a suggested lesson plan is found here: The Great Battle)
How does this lesson from Daniel chapter 10 affect you and me? Should we be frightened with the knowledge that there is a battle going on that we cannot see? If we are believers (we have placed our faith in Jesus as our Savior) we do not need to fear. “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (Romans 8:31-If God is for us who can be against us? 8:37-39..neither angels nor demons…will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord)
How are we supposed to live knowing that there is a spiritual battle going on in the unseen world? Pray. Prayer is a powerful spiritual weapon against evil. We are going to close by reading what Paul tells believers to do so they can be strong warriors in this spiritual battle. Ephesians 6:10-18
Put on the full armor of God. Just like the unseen world this armor isn’t seen by others around us. It is spiritual armor. The different pieces of protective gear that a believer wears are the following:
Belt of truth buckled around your waist-God’s Word is the truth that we need to fill our hearts and minds with. Do you spend time daily praying and memorizing Scripture?
Breastplate of righteousness– A soldier wears a breastplate to protect his heart. Believers need to guard their hearts from sin. (Proverbs 4:23) We do that by hiding God’s word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11) and by confessing and repenting of any known sin. (1 John 1:9)
Feet fitted with readiness-A soldier would wear shoes to help him stand firm in the battle. Believers need to stand firm in what they believe and always ready to share the Good News about Jesus. (2 Timothy 4:2)
Shield of faith-A shield protects a soldier from flying objects. A believer can be confident that God is their shield of protection in difficult situations.
Helmet of salvation-Helmets protect a soldier’s head and neck. A believer needs to protect their mind/thoughts so that they won’t believe Satan’s lies.
Sword of the Spirit-Soldiers need a weapon to destroy their enemy. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Believers need to know what God’s Word says so they can speak God’s truth in all circumstances . “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Ephesians 6:18-“Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Our lesson has been focused on the powerful weapon of prayer. When a believer knows God’s Word and prays God’s Word they are using a very powerful weapon against demonic powers.
All believers no matter how young or old they are need to be fully dressed for the spiritual battle that takes place every day. If we daily make prayer and the study of God’s Word a priority we will be prepared for whatever difficulties (attacks) come against us.
Close in prayer.
- Who was reigning as king in Daniel 10? (Cyrus)
- What was Daniel’s vision about? (A great battle)
- How long did Daniel mourn and go without special food? (3 weeks)
- Describe what the man looked like that Daniel saw by the Tigris River (Dressed in linen, belt of finest gold, body was like chrysolite, face like lightning, eyes like flaming torches, arms and legs like burnished bronze)
- Who was this man? (A Christophany, pre-incarnate Christ)
- Why was the angel who spoke to Daniel not able to come sooner? (Prince of Persia detained him and Michael came and rescued him)
- What equipment do believers need to stand strong in spiritual battles? (Armor of God, prayer and the Word of God)
Additional Teacher Resources:
- Lesson on Armor of God
- Armor of God