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 NIV)
God answers prayers we have long forgotten
God answers prayers we have dismissed as unanswered
Or even denied
When do you think Zechariah and Elizabeth had given up hope for a child of their own? When do you think their last prayer for a child was uttered or even fleetingly crossed their minds with any genuine hope of conception.
And Yet, Gabriel clearly told Zechariah, “your prayer has been heard.”
On this Sunday morning, consider the prayers once prayed fervently, pleadingly that have never been answered or that you see no possible way the answer could be yes. Those prayers on a shelf, dusty, maybe even bitter reminders, you think, of God’s “No’s”, those entreaties with squashed hopes, sometimes these very prayers are the ones God uses to demonstrate that our timing, our reasoning, our finite minds cannot begin to understand all He desires to bring out of the barren spots in our lives.
God does not forget any prayer. Just look at Zechariah and Elizabeth. He savors them as he works in us to make us ready for His ANSWER!