God Has Heard Your Prayer!

piano keys

By Chuck Hall

But the angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.’”(Luke 1:13)

Zechariah was a Jewish priest.  He and his wife, Elizabeth, want­ed to have chil­dren, but Elizabeth was bar­ren. They had prayed for many years, but their prayers were not answered.  Now that they were well past child­bear­ing years, it is very like­ly that they had stopped pray­ing and had accept­ed the fact that they would die child­less.  Then, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah through the angel Gabriel, “Zechariah! God has heard your prayer.”

I have read this sto­ry of John’s birth announce­ment (Luke 1:5–25) many times, but this time it was dif­fer­ent.  The phrase, “God has heard your prayer,” leapt off the page.  The Spirit seemed to be say­ing to me that long after we have stopped pray­ing God still hears the prayers that we once prayed.  Even when it seems impos­si­ble, our faith is gone and we have giv­en up, remem­ber God has heard your prayer.  Yes, the Bible teach­es us to per­se­vere in prayer and not give up.  However, as this text shows us, some­times God, in His mer­cy and accord­ing to His divine pur­pos­es, answers the prayers we have long since aban­doned.

My wife Mary Nell is a musi­cian. To her a piano is much more than a piece of fur­ni­ture; it is a musi­cal instru­ment that she plays dai­ly to glo­ri­fy God.  She had a small stu­dio piano, but her dream was some­day to own a baby grand.  Knowing she could nev­er afford such an expen­sive instru­ment, she still prayed for many years ask­ing God to give her a baby grand.  Finally, she accept­ed the fact that this piano was out of her reach, and she stopped pray­ing.  Then, even though it had been years since she prayed, God heard her prayer and gave her a baby grand piano!  We were remind­ed, “Nothing is impos­si­ble with God.”

I had prayed for thir­teen years to go into “full-time min­istry.” (That’s what we called it back then.) Nothing hap­pened, and I gave up.  But God had heard my prayers, and in 1983, my church sent Mary Nell and me out as their first mis­sion­ar­ies!  For sev­en­teen years, I dreamed of going to Bible school or sem­i­nary.  I prayed earnest­ly, yet it seemed my prayers were not being answered. I stopped ask­ing God to let me to go to sem­i­nary.  However, God had heard my prayer, and in 1988, I enrolled in Fuller Theological Seminary, stud­ied there for two-and-a-half years, and got my mas­ters’ degree in mis­sions!

Is there some­thing for which you have prayed many years and have not received?  Is there some­thing you no longer pray about because there seems to be no answer and you have giv­en up?  Maybe you have asked for a hus­band, for chil­dren, or for God to work in your son or daugh­ter or give you a bet­ter job.  It could be any­thing.  I want you to know, God has heard your prayer.  Don’t give up.  Trust in the Lord and know that all things are pos­si­ble with God.

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