Christmas Thought #4: When Prayers are Delayed

Christmas Thought #4: When prayers are delayed

Read Luke 1 where you find the news of new miraculous births, both of them important to the Christmas event. Let’s look at the first of them in this posting. The first birth you read about is about Zacharias and Elisabeth. They did not have a child and to be childless in that culture was looked upon with disgrace (v. 25). And yet we are told that they were righteous (a term that here means that they sought after God and to live their lives for Him) and prayed for a child (v. 13).

This is a good reminder at Christmas that just because we are good doesn’t mean that we always will get what the world deems as a reward. God does reward the righteous, but it will always be on His terms and in His time (as this passage reminds us)

Perhaps the couple needed to learn patience. Or perhaps they weren’t ready. Or God wanted to reveal His mighty hand upon this birth and upon this child. Their son John would be the prophet who was to prepare the way for the Christ. That prophecy is found in Isaiah 40:3-5. A great prophet required a great birth.

Though there are many lessons we can learn from this encounter, for today we learn that sometimes God delays the answer to our prayers to wait for the fullness of His glory. God knows exactly what He’s doing. But Zacharias didn’t know that plan. Elisabeth didn’t know that plan either. And we don’t know that Plan. Part of prayer is faithfully praying for our needs and desires knowing that we are presenting them to the one who is unfolding His plan of redemption through us and to be open for whatever God wants to do through us (see the next Christmas thought for the rest of the story).