But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John."
Today's Reading: Luke 1:8-17
Devo Author: Mickey Rapier
Date: December 10, 2021
When Denise and I were first married, we knew that at some point we would want the sounds of children to fill our home. We couldn’t imagine a sweeter blessing. But like most new parents, we thought it best to wait a while and get into the groove of married life before bringing babies into the mix. Not all parents get that option! But we did.
Over time, an illness made it unlikely that we would be able to have children, so we waited, and we prayed. After being married six years, Denise’s physician told us it was unlikely she would ever be able to give birth to a child. I remember leaving his office devastated by the news. Was God not able to give us the desire of our hearts? We continued to pray, but it seemed God might have another plan for us.
We researched options and began to get excited about the possibility of adopting a child, thinking that might be the path God wanted us to take. But not long afterward, our prayers were answered. Denise knew something different was happening to her body and that difference was a little girl who would bless our home in September of 1987.
Zechariah and Elizabeth wanted children too, and the clock was ticking. Being advanced in years, they were likely ready to let go of their dream. But they kept praying. And God heard their prayers and sent Gabriel to share with Zechariah that their prayers had echoed in the listening heart of God. How incredible it must have been when Zechariah heard Gabriel say, “your prayer has been heard.” How humbling those words must have been to this man of God.
Do you believe your prayers are heard in heaven? Friend, never doubt that they are. James 5:16 reminds us that the “prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective.” Over and over the Scriptures remind us God hears our prayers. We may not always get the answer we had hoped for or expected; but in prayer, our communion and fellowship with God are deepened and we are reminded it’s really not about getting the answer but about getting more of God.
This Christmas season is a significant opportunity for us to follow the example of Zechariah and Elizabeth in being more disciplined, consistent, and faithful in prayer. As a believer, you will never regret living a spiritual life sustained by talking and listening to God. You could ask John the Baptist’s parents when you see them someday!