An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified and overcome with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. (Luke 1:11-13)
Pastor John’s Notes:
God hears the prayer of righteous people. He listens when we humble ourselves before him. God saw the obedience of Zechariah and Elizabeth, and listened to their prayer for a son. But God’s answer was in God’s own timing and in His own way. He had something special planned for this faithful couple. He did indeed give them a son, even in their old age. And more than this, their son was to be the great prophet and the forerunner of the Messiah!
This story teaches us something important about prayer. Prayer that God hears is preceded by obedience to His commands. Obedience sets our life in alignment with God’s will and makes us ready for what God has in store for us. Prayer should never be a grocery list of things we selfishly want God to do to make us happy. God will not be used. Instead, prayer ought always be offered in humility. Prayers born out of obedience and humility are powerful because God is seeking people who will prepare themselves to do His will. Through such prayer, we make ourselves available to God. And God always rewards those who seek Him sincerely.
Lord, forgive me for self-centered prayer. Teach me to humble myself before you and obey your commandments. Let me ready myself for what you have in store.