“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’” (Luke 1:13, NIV).
I love the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth. It is a story of hope; a powerful story revealing that our God is One who listens to our hearts cries and hears our prayers.
Recently, I had been reading through the story of John the Baptist’s conception and Christ’s birth in the gospel of Luke.
When the angel of the Lord came to Zacharias he said, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard”. Zacharias and Elizabeth were old in age and remained barren. As we know, in those days it was a shame to be barren. When I read this story however, I began to wonder what it was truly like for Zacharias and Elizabeth. What was it like to live knowing within themselves that they probably would never conceive, (unless it was a miracle) only for this moment to occur?
I began to imagine the years that Elizabeth and Zacharias spend in tumultuous prayer, weeping before God, and grieving within their hearts over their barrenness. I could almost hear their cry and see their faces turn numb over the years. Their hearts must have broken from grief and sorrow. I’m sure they questioned and doubted where their God was in this seemingly “unanswered prayer”. I thought about how they might have questioned God, but still remained faithful to Him and His Commandments.
And all the while, I could almost hear the voice of God calling from Heaven saying, “Just wait your time is coming! You have no idea what I have in store for you. You don’t even have a clue of what I am about to bless you with. Please wait and hold on a little longer! Keep hoping, and even if you lose hope, I have still heard because I am God. I am the One who hears the needs and the desires of my people. And I have a purpose in all of this. If you just wait, it will come to pass, and you will have what you desire.”
In truth, Zacharias and Elizabeth had no idea the plan that God had for them. For years they had to trust God and stand on His faithfulness. Eventually, out of Elizabeth’s womb would come the greatest Prophet of Old, paving the way for the Messiah, Jesus Christ Himself!
Here’s the thing: God is in the business of resurrecting our dreams! He longs for those things that He has placed inside of you to be accomplished. And even when we lose hope, our prayers are never ever lost, rather they are heard by God, and God remembers them.
I want to encourage those of you who have prayed, and have longed for things to come to pass. God hears your prayers and your cries! He knows your hearts’ desires. And, maybe, just maybe, He is holding out for something you couldn’t have even imagined! And if you just hold on, He will bring back to life and resurrect those desires that seem to have died long ago, in His perfect time.
Our God is a God of resurrected dreams! Know that with God, nothing is impossible.
Heavenly Father, I pray for all those reading who have dreams that have died. I pray God, that the Word over their lives would be accomplished and that you would fulfill the desires of their hearts. I thank You for hearing their thoughts and knowing what You have placed within them even before the foundations of the earth were laid. I thank You that You are faithful to perform Your Word. I pray for a measure of hope to be reinstalled within them, and a faith to believe that with You, nothing is impossible. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Questions: Can you tell us about a time when you felt that God was not hearing your prayers? How did you keep on trusting Him in spite of the situation?
About the Author Brigitte Straub