Yesterday morning our pastor taught out of Luke 1. In an example of the Bible being alive and active, a passage that I thought I knew inside and out took on fresh life and meaning. Look at Luke 1:13. Before we go there, let me admit that this is not where the pastor had us. He summarized it before moving ahead in the chapter, but this is what really hit me. Okay, back to Luke 1:13:
But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard..."
"Your prayer has been heard." Think of the times in the Scriptures that God or one of His messengers brought a message like this to someone who needed to know they'd been heard. Abraham and Sarah. Daniel. Peter. Over and over, when someone felt all hope of being heard was gone, God would send an angel with the words "Your prayer has been heard."
Just a couple weeks ago in Sunday School, a strong believer asked how long should we keep praying for God to move? When do we switch to thanksgiving for what He has done? I don't know an absolute answer to that. But I do believe that time after time we stop asking when God is ready to deliver the answer. Abraham and Sarah had waited a lifetime for God's promised heir. Daniel had prayed for weeks for an answer to his question. Peter was in jail with all hope lost. Zechariah and Elizabeth had given up on children. It just makes me wonder, is there something in the giving up and surrendering to God's will, whatever that answer is, that opens us to receive His answer? There's also something to divine timing. He certainly knows so much more than we do. He knows the ordained moment for something to occur.
So if you're wondering if God hears, if He cares, if He sees you, take comfort in the words of Gabriel that were directed to Zechariah. The Lord has heard your prayer. You many not have the answer yet, but you can rest in the knowledge that He heard.