57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. (Luke 1:57-58 NIV)
Why did they share her joy? Remember that she was barren and could not have children, yet in their old age – the Lord granted Zechariah’s and Elizabeth’s prayer for a baby.
59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”
61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”
62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him. (Luke 1:59-66 NIV)
We don’t know how long Zechariah and Elizabeth had prayed for a baby. However, the Lord did answer their prayer. And it was with greatness! John the Baptist would foreshadow Jesus and bring many people to the Lord through his preaching.
Sometimes it is easy to think the Lord does not hear our prayers. However, He does hear us. Sometimes the answer is “no,” sometimes it is “yes.” Even other times it is “not yet.” Whatever you ask for, don’t think the Lord does not hear you. The Bible reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5:7 (NIV) to “pray continuously.” Don’t give up! The Lord is listening!
Kimberly and I had longed for a baby for years, and after about 12 years, many prayers, many trials, hard decisions, and a final step of obedience on my part to enter the ministry, the Lord gave us a wonderful baby. With God nothing is impossible!