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But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid Zechariah,
for your prayer has been heard. And your wife Elizabeth
will bear you a son" (Luke 1:13)
When I was a teenager I desperately wanted to find the
girl I would marry. Over the next 20 years I kept praying
for a wife, but that prayer went unanswered. At times I
was convinced I would be single all my life. Then I
finished seminary and went to my first call. Within a
month I was dating the woman who would become my
For decades Zechariah had prayed for a child. But
when no child came he eventually gave up-but not God.
On the very first day Zechariah prayed God marked that
prayer in His memory. Decades later God vividly
remembers every detail of that prayer, including the
urgency Zechariah felt month after month as he poured
out his plea to God. Now as the clouds of incense are
rising from the altar to symbolize God's acceptance of
His people's prayers, the angel brings Zechariah the
answer to his long-forgotten prayer.
Have you been raising heartfelt prayers to God for years
and years, only to find things get worse-finances,
employment, health, family strains? Does it seem God
is against you -- that He just doesn't care? We learn the
truth in this angel visit. The first moment we offer a
prayer in faith to God, He in His great wisdom and care
chooses the best way to answer that prayer as well as
the best time to answer it. Sometimes, like Zechariah,
we just have to wait until God's time is right, and He
has made everything fall into place.
 Heavenly Father, fill me with confidence that You mark
all my prayers, and will answer them when Your time is
right, and always for my good. I pray in Jesus' Name.
(Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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