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Do you believe in prayer?

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

God Answers Prayers

Sunday 01.19.2020 Teaching by Pastor Donnie Aldana from Luke 1:5-21

4 points from the text.

1. Being faithful pays off more than we can imagine.

2. We are meant to pray together.

3. God's got it, don’t question!

4. God’s timing is always the right timing.

Remember, as we discussed last week that Luke being a doctor, completed a written “autopsy” of the account of Jesus. HE took the time to investigate and talk to all the necessary people to find out the truth of Jesus, what he did, and what he was like. We know that his writing here is for us and we can trust this account to be accurate and full of great stories of Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 1:5-7

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.

Zacharias and his wife were people who would be considered devout Christians today.

Elizabeth, his wife was in the direct family line of the family Aaron, the highly priestly reign during the time of Moses. Her name literally means “God is my oath”. To be a priest and married to a priest’s daughter was a double distinction much like a preacher married to a preacher’s daughter. This tells us that they would have a high understanding of the Pentateuch. (5 first books of the bible). They would have known the story of Abraham and Sarah. Father Abraham and his life would have been known.

Luke 1:2 notes that they were both righteous, both blameless, these people were awesome Christians. The Greek indicates that it’s in the present perfect tense. They were doing it.

This brings us to our first point.

1. Being faithful pays off more than we can imagine.

They were the real deal. Amazing loving people. People that we would probably we would want to emulate their life. Even more so after you read verse 3. Verse 3 is a big deal. In that culture to be barren was almost a shame. You were looked down upon and maybe looked at like something was wrong with you. Being barren in that culture was a big deal a much bigger deal than it is today.

William Barclay on barrenness says and I quote.. “The Jewish Rabbis said that seven people were excommunicated from God and the list began, "A Jew who has no wife, or a Jew who has a wife and who has no child." Childlessness was a valid grounds for divorce. Not unnaturally Zacharias, even on his great day, was thinking of his personal and domestic tragedy and was praying about it.

Luke 1:8-10

So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division,

according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense.

Zacharias was going about his business of praying. The lot because he was a descendant of the royal priesthood allowed him to be chosen by lot to go and burn incense.

 BURNING INCENSE: ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY

According to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot - Beloved, you can stake your life on the truth that "God is behind the scenes and controls the scenes He is behind!" And so this was no accident but directed by the Providence of God. Proverb 16:33 says "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD." While we cannot be absolutely certain, it is said that there were as many as 20,000 priests in the time of Jesus. The odds of 20,000 to 1 are nothing for God! Beloved, we need to remember the truth that God is in 100% control, 100% of the time, even when our life seems 100% out of control! 

So cool.. something else that is magnificent here and it brings us to or second point,

2. We are meant to pray together.

Outside, the pious Jewish worshipers and priests joined in prayer, the rising incense giving assurance that God was listening to them. Luke repeatedly emphasized the power of prayer and the need to learn to pray, and to pray together. A praying church finds God's power coming to work among them and accomplish the church's mission.

So, let’s develop this a bit

Praying together. Do you pray with anyone? Family, praying is such a cosmic collision of heaven and earth. Think about it. We can tell our loving Father anything through his Son Jesus Christ. What do you need prayer for?

Why don’t we pray together?

1. Maybe we think our prayers are not that big of a deal.

2. Maybe we don’t think we are worthy of prayers