In my last post, I introduced my study into the Gospel of Luke. I’m looking forward to what we’ll learn through this journey.
You may want to read Luke 1:5-14 before starting this post. That’s the passage of Scripture I’ll be dealing with today.
There were meetings that took place before the birth of Christ. They were between heaven and earth; between God and His people. We need to understand how and why God meets with His people. It’s through these divine appointments that we find God at work.
In the above passage, we see a priest, Zechariah, who has been praying for a child. It says that both he and his wife were blameless.
It was the custom of the priesthood to choose a priest for incense duty. It was Zechariah’s turn, it was nothing special. This was a normal prayer time.
The first thing we need to see is that God meets with us during normal times. This is why our prayer times are so important. We don’t know what God has planned for us.
…and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior…
We need to understand and work within God’s appointed seasons. We pray, not knowing the “when” of the answers. Sometimes we get tired of praying, we lose heart, and we get distracted. How many times have we lost out because we didn’t show up at the divine appointment?
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 give him the name John.”
This is an interesting thing for the angel to say. “Your prayer has been heard.” As a priest, he was supposed to be interceding for Israel. But instead, he was praying about his personal desire for a child.
The fact is that God meets with us in spite of our selfishness. Studies show that for most Christians, most of what we pray for concerns ourselves. We pray for things that either directly or indirectly affect our comfort.
But, God knew that this child would be a blessing to this couple.
He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth…
The angel announced that he’s going to be all you ever wanted in a child. There will be joy and gladness. He could have said, “Zechariah, why have you been praying for yourself?”
The same is true for us. Praise God for the New Covenant!
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
The truth is that we don’t know everything. We base our prayers on what we want. The book of James tells us we don’t receive answers because we ask incorrectly.
If that’s the case, then why would I neglect prayer in the spirit? I don’t want God’s answers to be in spite of my prayers. I want my prayers to line up with His will.
But notice what God did here. Not only will this child be a joy to you, but also to others. I love the fact that God makes our blessing overflow to others.
We pray for ourselves. But do we ever look at the whole plan of God? I heard a speaker, Ray Mcauley, once say, “God always blesses you with someone else in mind.” There are others who need the same blessing that you need.
We must learn to ask; why is God blessing me? Is there someone I need to overflow into? We must realize that there’s more that God wants to do than just the little we see.
Questions: What have you been trusting God for in prayer? How can it be a blessing to others?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi