There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense.
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
[Luke 1:5-13 NKJV]
We are told that the Lord answers prayer. He does; and sometimes His answer is silence, which can often be the most profound answer of all; even if sceptics dismiss it as proof of God’s non-existence. If you have found God — properly, if He has chosen you — then you can know beyond doubt that He is there for you, whether He speaks or is silent when He communicates to your spirit.
Zacharias (remembered of Jehovah) and Elizabeth (oath of God) were both righteous before God, yet found themselves childless. This, as for so many was deeply distressing — and they were both — in a beautiful Bible phrase — well advanced in years!
However, the Lord sent a messenger who told them that “Your prayer is heard”, and that Elizabeth would have a son, who was to be named John (Jehovah is a gracious giver). We can see a number of things in this wonderful story ...
That is all we need to know — all we can know. Your prayer is heard by God. That is the answer to all prayer — He has heard. The rest is up to Him as it always has been, and again and again, it requires trust in Him. His response to our prayer will be according to His plan and purpose, not ours; but it will be amazingly better than we could ever hope.
Know that His answer is always going to be the birth of a son — His son — in you.
Know that His answer will always be ‘John’, because Jehovah is a gracious giver.
Know that He has heard your prayer.
If you put your faith in your experience, anything that happens — toothache, indigestion, an east wind, incongenial work — is likely to upset the experience, but nothing that happens can ever upset God or the almighty reality of the Redemption; once based on that, you are as eternally sure as God Himself.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART
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