3 lessons on prayer
Both of them were descendants of the priestly tribe of Aaron and upright. As soon as they married, I’m sure they hoped for many children to arrive- after all Zechariah and Elizabeth lived in an age and culture where the woman’s standing was tied to her ability to carry children. Yet they saw years pass without their dreams materializing. Being devout in their faith, this couple prayed for children yet saw no change in their status… until…
Years- yes, YEARS- later while carrying out his priestly duty to burn incense in the temple, Zechariah looked over and saw the angel Gabriel-
“The angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.’” – Luke 1:13
Three key elements can be found in this verse to help us today.
- God always hears our prayers- ALWAYS!
- God will not move until the timing is right. I hate to bring it up but if we read on we see Zechariah questioning the angel’s announcement because he and his wife were both old (guess he forgot about Abraham & Sarah)- but the answer had to be timed just right!
- When (not if) God answers, we will be amazed because he loves to go above and beyond to bless us! Zechariah & Elizabeth just wanted a child yet God blessed them with the messenger that Isaiah & Malachi both prophesized about- the one who would one day bear the title “John the Baptist”. Wow!
I keep a prayer journal with many requests- pages of names of those sick, leaders of our nation, names of our youth, personal prayer requests near and dear to my heart, etc. Some prayers I’ve seen answered while others I still wait on. I love the encouragement I find from Zechariah’s encounter with Gabriel for it reassures me God is listening, planning & waiting for the right time. My heart rejoices to know that my prayers are heard and that God will answer them in his own unique way and timing even though I’ve seen nothing yet and though the answers may not look like what I expected.
Lord, thank you for this reassurance! What a smile you bring to my heart! You, O God, make my joy complete as I learn to keep praying & walking in faith while I wait. Strengthen me for the journey! Amen!