Exactly, what prayer was that?
Luke 1: Your prayer has been heard.
For Zechariah it’s an once-in-a-lifetime event. He’s the priest who’ll enter the sanctuary and burn incense before the Lord. As he carefully and reverently goes about this task he sees movement to the right of the altar, then, out of nowhere an angel of the Lord appears. Zechariah would run if he could, but instead just stands there, eyes wide, mouth open, face to face with an archangel. The angel speaks reassuringly, and, to the old priest’s surprise, calls him by name. Then this angel adds, “Your prayer has been heard.” I wonder what thoughts raced through Zechariah’s mind in that instant. Here’s what I think: I imagine the old priest thinking, “What prayer is that?” You see, there was a time in his and Elizabeth’s lives when they prayed for a child most every day. They were young then and all the other couples they knew were having babies. However, time was passing and they remained childless. The years passed and they were no longer a young couple. They prayed about this less and then they gave up, disappointed but trusting God with their emptiness. Now, years later, when Gabriel says, “Your prayer has been answered” my guess is that the “baby prayer” is the farthest thing from Zechariah’s mind. Zachariah might have forgotten the prayer, but God hasn’t. Now, at the time that seems way too late for this senior adult couple, God is about to move. Once again I’m reminded that God’s ways aren’t my ways and his schedule isn’t my schedule. Beyond that, I see that God’s ways are the right ways and his time is always the right time. This realization has plenty of practical applications in my life today.
Take Away: Never doubt the power of prayer.