Your Prayer Has Been Heard

At the beginning of his gospel account, Luke opens with the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, a childless elderly couple who had lived through the pain of infertility. Their prayer for a baby had never been answered.

Zechariah was a priest, and one seemingly ordinary day, he was chosen to enter the Holy Place in the temple and burn incense before the Lord. That’s when the extraordinary happened. An angel appeared to Zechariah with a very personal message:

 

Luke 1:13
Do not be afraid, Zechariah.
Your prayer has been heard.
Your wife, Elizabeth will bear you a son.

 

Wait, what?

His prayer has been heard? What prayer?

Zechariah and Elizabeth were ”advanced in years”. They were past the point of bearing children. Past the point of monthly disappointment. Past the point of even dreaming their prayer for a baby could be answered. The endless years of waiting had robbed them of any hope.

I don’t think they had prayed for a baby in a very long time.
And I sure don’t think Zechariah was praying for a baby in the temple that day.

It’s much more likely Zechariah was praying for the redemption of Israel. For the coming Messiah. For his people to be delivered from bondage. Anything but a baby.

But Zechariah, remember those prayers you used to pray a long time ago? Those prayers you don’t pray anymore? Those prayers you gave up on? Well, Zechariah, God heard those long-ago prayers…and your wife will bear you a son…

What prayer have you stopped praying?

Do you have a dream that has died? Something you have given up hope for?

Is there a longing in your heart that you quit believing God could fulfill? A desire unfulfilled that has left you empty and heartbroken?

Zechariah and Elizabeth knew that emptiness and heartbreak. But during those endless decades of waiting, they had no idea how their lives were intersecting with God’s plans. They had no understanding how He was working things together for their good and His glory.

Through years of unmet expectations, they didn’t comprehend that God was waiting for HIS perfect timing to usher in the presence of Jesus.

God had not forgotten them. He hadn’t rejected them. And He wasn’t punishing them.

And yet they suffered. Their lifetime of loss was real and their pain was deep.

But do you know what Zechariah didn’t do?

He didn’t stop serving God. He didn’t quit. At the very beginning of the story of Jesus, we find Zechariah ministering in the temple. Still trusting the faithful One. Still hoping for the redemption of Israel.

Do not be afraid, Zechariah. Your prayer has been heard. Your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son.

In their early years, Zechariah and Elizabeth had prayed for a baby. And in their latter years, they were blessed with a prophet. A prophet who would be great in the sight of the Lord. A prophet who would be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he was born. A prophet who would go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah. The one who would make ready a people prepared for the coming Messiah.

What prayer have you stopped praying?

Don’t be afraid, Dear One. Your prayer has been heard. You have not been forgotten.

Keep serving Him. Right where you are. Trust Him. Believe He will answer. Believe He is working things together for your good and for His glory. Even though His answer probably won’t look like you imagined, believe you are part of His plan.

 

1 Corinthians 2:9
No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
no human mind has conceived
what God has prepared
for those who love Him.

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3 Comments

  1. Sherry on January 23, 2019 at 11:29 AM

    this.is.so.good.

  2. Carolyn on January 23, 2019 at 10:21 PM

    Keep trusting God.

  3. Carolyn on January 23, 2019 at 10:23 PM

    Keep on Praying. God hears us .

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