This week as I was reading through Luke, I came upon something I had not seen or paid enough attention to before. The passage is when the angel Gabriel appears to Zacharias. Zacharias becomes afraid, and rightly so, and then the angel answers: “Do not be afraid Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you will give him the name John.” (Lk 1:13) I had not noticed before Gabriel’s announcement to Zacharias came from a “petition”; an answered prayer.
After noticing this great truth I began to ponder how long both Zacharias and Elizabeth must have been praying to God Almighty for a son. Luke gives us an idea that it was a long time. Luke writes, “…Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years.” (Lk 1:7b) I can almost picture both Elizabeth and Zachaias praying every night before bed for God to intervene; for God to miraculous remove what man finds impossible. They must have prayed fervently for God to remove Elizabeth’s barrenness. Elizabeth’s barrenness must have been accompanied by a lot of emotional stress and frustration; a sense of failure for the couple. You can almost picture the couple battling in their walk of faith.
Luke tells us they were both “righteous” before God (cf., Lk 1:6). This couple of the faith year after year waited…with no answer. And each year they would wake up thinking this was the year; and yet no response. But one day Gabriel the angel appears and tells them: “…your petition has been heard” (cf., Lk 1:13). This brought an indescribable joy to the couple. As Elizabeth exclaimed: “This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me…”(Lk 1:25) What a wonderful thing that God listens to His children. May we not just say with our lips that we believe in prayer; but that we would be in our knees constantly seeking the presence of the Lord.
by Carlos Lopez
This devotional is part of our monthly student series where SCS students share inspirational, encouraging, and insightful ideas about their life of faith.