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.” (Luke 1:13)
Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were described in Scripture as righteous and blameless. But they were also childless, so for years they prayed and asked God to give them a child. However, for nearly seven decades, their request remained unfulfilled.
After that amount of time, Zechariah could have done what a lot of ministers have done - he could have quit the ministry. He could have said, “Why serve God? What good does it do to be righteous and holy and to fulfill my calling if God is not going to answer my prayer, what good is living for Him anyway?”
That happens. Statistics tell us that 1700 ministers leave the ministry every month and I’m sure many just decide the return on their faithfulness just isn’t worth it. I give credit to this couple and especially Zechariah. Even though it appeared that God just flat said, “No” to his request for a child, he was still working and he was still praying.
Then the angel says this, “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.” (Luke 1:13) Listen to those five tremendous words – “your prayer has been heard.” Do you realize how long they had been praying? For close to seven decades. Now this angel was telling them every word was heard, and God was finally going to answer their prayers.
Are you in a season where you’re praying for something, and it seems as though your words are like rubber balls bouncing off concrete walls? If that’s you and you’re feeling down and discouraged, remember this – God is listening. God hears your prayers. And He will answer them in His own way and in His own time.
Dear Lord, how grateful I am for the reminder that you hear every single prayer I’ve ever prayed. Even when it seems as though you’re being silent and nothing is happening, you are always listening. Please help me to remain faithful in my hope and trust in you, believing that you will answer my prayers in accordance with your will and your great plan for my life. Amen.