Look at the first chapter in Luke. Here we have the account of Zechariah receiving word about his soon to be son John the Baptist. It is a beautiful account of the miraculous. I think oftentimes this is what our flesh desires when we pray: immediate response, face-to-face angelic prophecy, and clear black and white instructions: “you shall call his name John.”
Verses eight through ten tell us this was the hour of incense and Zechariah was chosen by lot. Why is this important? It means that it was a usual time for the people to come and pray at the beginning of each year. It wasn’t that a sudden urge to pray came upon them. They had made it a part of their lives. The priests would draw lots for who would enter the Holy of Holies. And God knew. God knew where and how he could intersect the life of Zechariah. God caused the lot to be cast as it was. He ushered his son into the most holies in order to speak to him.
It is the same for you and I. We must create regular spaces for God to intersect us. Look at Daniel, Moses, Jesus, for examples, these men had times they set aside to seek God, and God met them. Did Daniel have a vision every time he prayed? There doesn’t seem to be record of that. There isn’t record of Jesus transfiguring every time he prayed either, look at the Garden of Gesthsemane. God hasn’t called us to seek the miraculous. He has called us to seek Him. By setting aside times, going and going again, they made space physically and in their souls to receive as must we.
Sometimes people feel they are in a one sided conversation when they pray, especially when they don’t see desired results. This leads to a kind of weariness that will bring a prayer life to a stop. In these regular times of prayer we must guard ourselves from the results mentality. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to keep our hearts pure as we seek Him. Let us not grow weary in well doing. Ultimately the more we learn of the God we serve, the Jesus we follow, the more trust and faith we will have that He will hear and answer.
It is humbling to think that even with the miraculous before him, Zechariah still doubted. Zechariah, who probably had prayed time and again for a child, wasn’t ready to receive. He responded in disbelief. Let this be an example to us. We can be doing all the right things in the wrong spirit, or attitude. Zechariah was disciplined for this, becoming mute for a time, yet the word of God in his life was not altered. John the Baptist still came to be. God does not fail to perform his word. Sin isn’t bigger than God’s power.
So turn again brother. Turn again sister. Set aside time for your Savior. Be filled again with wonder, awe, belief. If you are weary ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with joy. Ask for others to help carry your burden to the Lord. Prepare your heart to receive. Trust that He sees, He hears, He knows your every breath.
Written by Bethany Monroe