Responding To Answered Prayer
For years the old couple had one dominant prayer. They prayed, but then the time passed. Their prayer for a baby would never be answered. They were too old. In his introduction to Jesus’ birth narrative Luke has already focused our attention on the age and sterility of this old devout couple (Luke 1:7). Zechariah, a priest, had become fixated on his age and the barrenness of Elizabeth. This is why when Gabriel, God’s messenger of answered prayer, announced that his wife, Elizabeth, would have a son and even named the child, Zechariah responded, “I don’t believe it.” All he could see was the impotence of his own body and the infertility of his wife, and even the sudden appearance of an angel, an angel who stood in God’s presence, couldn’t shake his unbelief.
Luke’s writing moves me to get upset with Zechariah’s failure, but then I have to face that there’s a lot of Zechariah in me. When God doesn’t answer one of my long-term prayers, it’s easy for me to simply stop praying. Often all I see hopelessness in a situation. Zechariah’s negative example is there to teach me to be wary of the unbelief by stealth that creeps into my life. My heart needs to remain open to God’s supernatural power. He will keep His Word.
“And Zechariah said to the angel, ‘On what basis can I know that this will happen for I am old and my wife too is advanced in her days?‘ The angel responded to him, ‘I am Gabriel, the one who stands before God. He sent me to speak to you and announce for you this good news. Now look! Because you did not believe my words, you will be silent, not able to speak, until the day when these things will come to be. My promise to you will be fulfilled in their time.’” - Luke 1:18-21
LORD, the way you answered Zechariah’s and Elizabeth’s prayer for a child reminds me of your faithfulness to members of our church to whom you gave the gift of children even after they had lost hope. Thanks. And I also thank you for those who didn’t receive their own physical kids, but they realized You could use them as spiritual parents to kids that came to AWANA with no biblical and spiritual direction from home.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!
You can also listen to weekly messages from Dave on OnePlace.com.