Christmas Angels: Messages of Truth for Each Day

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

“God has heard your prayer.” (An angel visits Zechariah)


Zechariah was an elderly Jewish priest in the ancient world of Jesus. For years, he and his wife Elizabeth had been praying for a child. Even when things seemed hopeless and beyond possible, they continued praying and waiting, waiting and praying, year after year after year. 


Waiting for God to answer prayer is hard. It's especially hard if you've been praying for something for what feels like forever. It’s especially hard if the thing you’re praying for is your heart’s deepest desire. It’s especially hard if you’ve dedicated your life to the Lord, have followed him faithfully and obediently, and believe your prayer lines up with his will.


Prayer, though, isn’t a formula. It’s not a neat and tidy 1-2-3-done step-by-step event.


Instead, prayer is a mysterious, powerful, and supernatural thing. It’s also simple. We open our hearts to God. We lay our words, thoughts, and emotions before him. When we don’t know how to communicate those things, the Spirit does it for us. We go to the Lord with our praise, our confession, our doubts, our questions, our honor, our worship, our mourning, our rejoicing, and our requests. 


And God hears. God listens. God answers, even if it feels like he is absent or silent, even if we don’t clearly understand how he is acting in the situation, even if the answer is not what we’d imagined or planned. We must always remember:



  • God is faithful

  • God is good

  • God is true

  • God is Lord

  • God is King

  • God’s plans are better than anything we can imagine. 


Zechariah’s prayer was answered in a miraculous way, and was announced by a miraculous message. The good news was delivered by an angel who said, 


“God has heard your prayer.”

This story is not a promise that God will answer all our prayers exactly as we want. But it is a reminder that God is our ever-present and loving Father, that God hears all our prayers, and that sometimes we must wait patiently for God’s response.


Do you believe God's plans are always good? Will you trust that his answers to prayer are always the best? Will you wait patiently for those answers, even if the wait is long? And will you receive his answer joyfully, even if it's not the one you hoped for? 


REFLECTION


What is something you are praying and waiting for? How will you continue to pray with hope and wait with patience?


How has God answered a prayer in your life?


Read the scripture passage for a Christmas story about faithful prayer.