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Never Underestimate the Power of Prayer

Do you take your prayers seriously?  God does.  He puts a lot of care, thought and insight into each prayer you send His way.  I imagine that God thinks about our prayers more than we do when we are praying them.  
 
In Luke 1, we get a glimpse into the power of prayer.  I can only imagine that the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth had prayed some very fervent prayers for a child in their younger days.  After their marriage, when Elizabeth wasn’t getting pregnant, they surely asked God to bless their family with a child.  Year after year, then decade after decade, they didn’t hear anything from God regarding their prayer.  This unanswered prayer didn’t derail them along their spiritual journey.  It didn’t cause them to become bitter or angry at God.  They didn’t understand His reasons, but they accepted that He had His reasons and went along in their lives observing all of God's commands and walking blamelessly before Him (Luke 1:6). 
 
One day, it was Zechariah’s turn to go before God and burn incense in the temple.  He was chosen by lot, but we all know God arranged those lots to fall on him.  Burning the incense before God was a special privilege.  While he went before the Lord to burn the incense, all the worshippers who had assembled were praying.  This had happened on a regular basis at the temple. It was part of the temple worship that God had prescribed.  Everyone was in their place, doing his part.  They were praying their regular prayers.  I'm sure that someone among the assembled group of worshippers was even praying for Messiah to come and save them from the oppression of the Romans.  None of them imagined what was actually going on just beyond the curtain where Zechariah worshipped.
 
God had sent an angel to tell Zechariah personally that his prayer had been answered.  The angel stood right beside the altar of incense (incense represents our prayers before God).  He spoke of a prayer that Zechariah had most likely long since forgotten.  The angel went on to explain that he would have a child and this child would prepare the way for the Messiah in the spirit and power of Elijah like this was just an ordinary experience Zechariah should have been able to understand.  Zechariah showed a little doubt; after all he and Elizabeth were way past the childbearing years.  I'm sure they hadn't prayed that prayer for a child of their own for many decades now.  Because he doubted the angel gave him a sign and told him that he wouldn't be able to speak until this was accomplished. 
 
Zechariah left the temple; the gathered worshippers were getting worried because he had been in there much longer than was customary.  When he couldn't speak they knew something extraordinary had happened, but they weren't sure what it was.
 
They would soon come to know John the Baptist and see the impact He would have on the world.  John the Baptist was conceived in prayer.  Never underestimate the power of your prayers.  God never does.

 

 

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