But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. ~Luke 1:13
Do you sometimes feel like people in your life tune you out? We might be talking to a loved one but sense that he or she might be distracted or not listening. Our auto-response is to ask, “Are you listening?” Then, we are surprised when they respond back with, “I hear you, and here is my answer.” This morning, we see that God told Zacharias after many long years, “I hear you!”
We see the priest.
“There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.” Zacharias came from a long line of priests. Both he and Elizabeth could trace their spiritual heritage to the lineage of priests. The priests were the full-time servants of God. A priest was a man of prayer. He was given to prayer privately and publicly. God’s people are priests of God. Let us be given to praying without ceasing.
We see the practice.
“According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.” His responsibility was to burn incense daily at the altar of incense. The following verse tells us that the people were outside praying as he did this. The offering of incense is symbolic of our prayers to God. Incense is a sweet-smelling savor unto God, well-pleasing and acceptable. Revelation 8:4 tells us, “And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.” May our prayers be acceptable as the incense that was burned at the altar.
We see the presentation.
“And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.” God sent an angel to tell Zacharias in private that his prayer was heard. Zacharias' name means “Jehovah remembers.” After many years of praying, God told Zacharias, “I remember and hear you.” We must remember that God always hears every prayer. His perfect will is to answer each prayer according to His timing. Don’t be afraid to pray boldly in faith for God to work. Don’t be afraid when He answers your prayer! Your prayer is heard, but be ready to go into action mode when God answers.
We see the proof.
“And thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” God opened Elizabeth’s barren womb at her older age and enabled her to conceive. Humanly, this was impossible. "With God all things are possible"! God told them that they would have a son and they would name him John. Can you imagine the combined surprise and elation that went through their hearts as the angel described John coming in the spirit and power of Elijah and preparing the way of the Lord? Can you imagine the excitement that prophecy was being fulfilled in their home and that they would be alive at the birth of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus? The proof was in the son! The proof for answered prayer is in the Son: the Son of God! “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do.” He hears you. Don’t be surprised when He answers!
Have a prayer-answering God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Amos 6-9