And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
You know, it’s amazing how God sometimes goes out of His way to make things happen for us.
Zechariah was afraid, no doubt, when the angel Gabriel showed up in the temple. I wonder what kinds of thoughts flashed through his mind in that instant, and how many. I am almost certain that one of those thoughts may have been that he would not make it out of the temple alive. I wonder if there was an awkward pause in that moment – if Gabriel observed him for a second before proceeding with his message – or if he made an appearance and just dived in. Whatever the case, Gabriel reassured him: “…Do not be afraid…”
The next thing Gabriel says surprises me somewhat, maybe because I somehow got excited too quickly and skipped ahead too fast in the reading. But, yes, coming back to this verse really surprised me.
…Do not be afraid… your prayer has been heard…
Hold on a minute. “Your prayer has been heard?” How is it, then, that the next words out of Zechariah’s mouth would be words of unbelief?
How many times have we waited on God, received an answer to our prayers, and kept trudging with the same negative mindset that got us in that mess in the first place? How many times have we been too blind to see the truth, the provision, the healing!
This reminds me of Martha, when Jesus told her that Lazarus would live again. Her response: “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” This was Jesus telling her Himself, in person – not a pastor preaching, or a prophet prophesying, or a friend agreeing with her in a prayer of faith.
Zechariah was speaking with an angel, a messenger directly come to him from God. He knew it was an angel, otherwise he would not have been afraid. He knew! But yet, somewhere deep inside, that mistrustful and cynical instinct that some of us are all too familiar with showed up and attempted to steal this long-time-coming blessing. But thank God, His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are better than ours! (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Today, don’t let doubt get in the way. When we pray to God, we pray with confidence (our part, active participation) that He will answer (His part). I believe doubt comes from us trying to do our part and God’s part at the same time, or just a lack of confidence in His ability to hold up His end of the bargain.
Today, trust God. Your prayer has been heard.