Lord, as I read the account of Zechariah’s prophecy (Luke 1:6-79) even though he was filled with the Holy Spirit, he seems to have gotten it wrong!!! It looks like Zechariah expected Jesus to be a political leader (Luke 1:71) Lord, I realize that I don’t always have an accurate bead on Your truths, but Lord give me the grace to allow others with differing opinions to have them without me looking down my nose at them. Lord, Father, give me the wisdom and spiritual understanding to be gracious to those around me. Thank You Lord.
Elizabeth’s proclamation to Mary shows the wisdom of an older woman, and yet Lord it also shows the simplicity and childlike faith that is so needed today. Lord, Elizabeth talked about mercy in verses 50 and 54…but tucked away in between (Luke 1:53) is a verse that I pray for the hungry in my town this year, that You would fill them “with good things.” Lord I know that “good things” does not necessarily mean abundance of material things, but it may. But it does mean peace, hope, all of these things that are Your attributes. Thank You Lord that 2000 years ago Elizabeth could pray this for her day, and I can do the same for my day. And whenever it is within my ability, burden me to show Your love, tangibly, to someone in need.
Zechariah looked to man’s wisdom and doubted while Mary looked to Your sovereignty and trusted. What do I do? Lord, Psalm 103:19 tells me that You are sovereign over all…yet I so often act like Zechariah wanting to decide if Your ways fit into my box (Luke 1:18) whereas Mary trusted in Your words that came through the angel (Luke 1:38). Father, we often quote verse 37, “Nothing is impossible with God.” Lord, would You convict our hearts to be broken for our selfish misunderstanding, causing us to glory in child-like faith instead.
After Elizabeth became pregnant she remained in seclusion for five months (Luke 1:24). Lord I can just see her and Zechariah, wanting to enjoy every happy moment they could in this very unique miracle of life for them. Lord we trust You to grant joy and peace to Your children that are praying through these 25 Days of Prayer, simply because they are believers (Romans 15:13). Not because we deserve it Lord but simply because of Your mercy and Your grace. Thank You Lord.
Lord, as I think of the words of the angel to Zechariah (Luke 1:11-17) I cannot throw stones at him for doubting (vs 18) because I too doubt. I doubt Your clear word as stated in scripture. Lord forgive me for this. Let me take responsibility for the times when I want to blame someone else, even though Your word is clear that my struggle isn’t against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12a). Or the times Lord when I want to hold onto my anxiety, even though Your word clearly says that I can have peace instead (Philippians 4:6-7). Father, thank You for all these and so many more promises that have been made real to us because of Your Son’s coming.
Father, the purpose of John the Baptist’s birth was to “go on before the Lord [Jesus] (Luke 1:17a). And with us celebrating the Your Son’s entrance into earth this Christmas season, my prayer Lord, is that we will have the opportunity to go before Him, sharing the truths of this season, and “turning the hearts of fathers…and the disobedient…” (Luke 1:17b) to You Lord.
Reading about how Zechariah and Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s dad and mom) were upright and blameless (Luke 1:6), I’m reminded of Job who was also blameless (Job 1:1,8;2:3) and look at the trials You allowed in his life. Lord, as we wander through this joyous time of giving, let us remember that blessings are not defined by those around us, but by our relationship with You. In the West we have difficulties come our way and we want, no, we expect, relief from them. Forgive us Father for thinking that following in Your Son’s footsteps, the footsteps of suffering (1 Peter 2:21) is NOT for us, even though Your Son’s advent into this world was for the, purpose of the cross (John 12:27) Forgive us Lord for our arrogance.
Lord as we enter into the early part of this Christmas season, the advent of Your Son I am reminded that His lineage was not pure (Matthew 1:1-17 & Luke 3:23b-38), that there were many sinners, and Gentiles mixed into His line. Lord please forgive me for the times when I look down my nose at someone else. Lord, as well as I think I know, so many of someone else’s faults, I am reminded that You choose whom You want to choose. You use whom You want to use…to bring glory to Your name. Lord, I, less than all those that You use, deserve to be used, yet thank You for using me. And Lord just like the city of Alma put aside their racial differences for one day, October 15, 2011, Lord let this happen more and more, not just in Alma but in other small towns too. And Father, use me to foster it in these little towns I work in Lord.