Surprised by answered prayer

Luke 1 begins with the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth. They were getting along in years and had no children. It was a constant prayer, but one that by this time they offered up without much hope.

Then, the answer comes.

13 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah. Your prayers have been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will give birth to your son and you must name him John.” (CEB)

John would be a child of promise and one who had a purpose in the Kingdom of God.

All those years. All those prayers. The answer was here!

And Zechariah hesitated.

18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? My wife and I are very old.” (CEB)

Zechariah had an angel standing in front if him giving a response directly from God, and he decides to scratch his beard and say, “I wonder if this is really God.”

Gabriel struck him with silence as a lesson. I think one lesson would be, “You speak one more word of doubt, you may just pray your way out of this one!”

We need boldness in our prayers. We need to ask and then NOT be surprised when something great comes from God. Too often, though, I find myself surprised by answered prayer.

Lord, help me in my doubt. Help me in my wavering. Help me to keep pressing in, and when the answers come, let me answer like Mary, who simply said, “Be it done according to your will.”

Help me ask and wait on you, and when the answers come, let me respond with thankfulness.

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