December 03, 2008

Zechariah's Prayer

Luke 1:5-17

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.”
Luke 1:13


In our reading for today the angel tells Zechariah that his prayer for a child has been heard; his wife, Elizabeth, will have a son. Does this mean Zechariah has been praying continually until this time, even though he and his wife were both “well along in years”? That would be a very persistent prayer—like a farmer praying for a harvest even in the dead of winter!

Maybe the angel is referring to prayers that Zechariah offered to God long ago, before Zechariah’s face was lined with wrinkles and Elizabeth was past the age of childbearing. Maybe at some point they looked up after offering yet another “Please send us a child” prayer and said to each other, “It’s no use.” Either way, God’s answer to Zechariah’s prayer was a miracle.

But the prayer of this couple isn’t the only prayer God is about to answer. There’s Simeon’s prayer for the consolation for Israel (Luke 2:25), Anna’s prayer for the redemption of Israel (Luke 2:38), and countless prayers for a Messiah to fulfill the old promises. God is about to respond to all these prayers and more!

What are you praying for these days? Is it okay with you if God responds according to his own timetable, in ways that serve his perfect plan? In the meantime, simply trust that someday God will show you too that your prayer has been heard.

We trust you, O God. Help us in our mistrust. And help us to pray persistently. We know you hear us. Help us to see that by your will and in your time all will be complete. Amen.

About the author — David Den Haan

Pastor Dave Den Haan has served at Fairway Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan, since 1999. Previously he served a church in Minnesota. Dave and his wife, Connie, have three children.

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