By Jesse Becker
After a year or so of marriage, my wife and I looked forward to having children. Many of our friends’ families were beginning to grow, and we were excited about having the same for us. But our family didn’t start for another 5 years during which we had at least 3 miscarriages. Those years were long and hard, and we prayed and prayed for children. However, our prayers only seemed to be answered with a resounding “no.”
There was an old man and wife in the Bible who had one of their prayers unanswered for so long that they must have thought that the answer was “no.” His name was Zachariah, a priest. He and his wife Elisabeth prayed about their desire to have son, but God didn’t answer their prayer in a reasonable time. Then one day, while he was performing his priestly duties, Zachariah received a message from Gabriel. He told Zachariah, “Thy prayer is heard,” and that Elisabeth would bear a son. Due to their age this seemed humanly impossible. And it was. But with God, nothing is impossible.
“Thy prayer is heard” almost sounds like Zachariah was still praying for a son. It’s hard to know for sure, but we do know a few things.
- Zachariah prayed. So often we make prayer a last-resort solution to things. I like our church’s prayer bulletin cover that reads “First of All,” reminding me to pray about matters first before I attempt to do anything else.
- Zachariah still had the desire for a son. If God places a desire in your heart and He doesn’t take it away, keep on praying about it, and keep on believing that nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).
- Zachariah was faithful and obedient. Both he and Elisabeth were “righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” That is faithfulness and obedience, a trademark of faith.
God did finally answer Zachariah’s prayer and in a much bigger way than he could have imagined. Their son, named John, would introduce the Messiah to the world. God also answered our prayer with a “yes,” and now we are blessed with three beautiful children. So, don’t give up on your faith, your desire, or your prayer. No answer from God is not always a “no” answer.