“11 While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12 Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. 13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. 14 You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth.[b]16 And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. 17 He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,[c] and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”
Have you ever spent years expectantly praying for something, while simultaneously wondering if it would happen? Are there moments where you’ve felt as though what you’ve prayed for might never be answered, or have you released a promise the Lord gave you because it didn’t happen in your timing?
Zechariah and Elizabeth know exactly what that feels like. For years they longed for a child. In those days a child meant, not only that your name would be passed down, adding branches to your roots, but that as you grew older, you would have family to take care of you.
There were no old folks homes in those days. Now, well into their aged years, that prayer had gone unanswered and with it was left the shame of not having conceived a child.
Then an angel appeared to Zechariah declaring that Elizabeth would have a baby boy and they are to name him John for he would usher in the Messiah. I can only imagine the shock that came from being in the presence of an angel, but also a longing of their hearts being answered.
Did it come in the perfect moment, the right time? No, it didn’t. Did it come in the way they expected, no, but their prayer was still answered.
The Lord wants us to pray continuously and expectantly. Expectant is, “an excited feeling that something is about to happen, especially something good.”
Is that how you pray?
Do you come before God expectant that something good is about to happen, even when, in the moment it seems bleak? In this season, we anticipate the birth of Jesus, just as Mary and Joseph waited expectantly for the Savior of the World to be born.
What are you waiting for expectantly this season?
Are you bringing it before the Lord knowing that His goodness abounds and that He’s already gone ahead of you and and anticipating your arrival?
As we enter into Advent, my prayer is that you will seek Him in anticipation of all the good He plans to pour out on you.