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For God So Loved!

Forgotten Prayers and Unexpected Answers
Today’s Reading: Luke 1:5–25


Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.
(v .13 NIV)


Sometimes God answers our prayers in a moment we least expect. Zechariah and Elizabeth had long asked God for a baby, but the answer always seemed to be no. Now “they were both very old” (v. 7), and the thought of having a baby was far from their minds.

But then the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah, a priest serving in the temple, bringing some startling news. “Do not be afraid, Zechariah,” Gabriel said, “your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John” (v. 13).

Zechariah didn’t believe the angel at first. You can tell by his response: “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years” (v. 18). Still, John’s birth happened just as Gabriel said it would.
God answered Zechariah and Elizabeth’s prayers by giving them a baby, but He gave them even more than they asked for. John the Baptizer would “be great in sight of the Lord” (v. 15), the prophet who would prepare the way for Jesus (v. 17).

Yes, it took a while to get there. God’s timing is rarely our own, but He has ways of showing Himself faithful that we’ve never even considered.

Though Zechariah and Elizabeth had forgotten their prayers, God hadn’t. He was simply taking His time, preparing a miracle.

James Banks
Praying the Prayers of the Bible