Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. (Luke 1: 1 - 4)Or as I like to think, Luke fact checked the material.
He then begins by telling the story of Zechariah, a priest, and his encounter while serving inside the temple one day.
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” (Luke 1: 11 - 18)
I read this passage this morning and was immediately struck by two things I need to hear this morning.
First, Gabriel tells Zechariah, "Your prayer has been heard." Prayer. Singular. Your prayer, that thing you have been bringing before the Lord, that one thing that is mixed in with the other prayers you say but is really the point of your heart, that prayer was heard.
And second, Zechariah's questioning, "How can I be sure of this?" I'm old he explains. It is improbable, he knows for his wife to get pregnant. The statistics are not on their side.
These two things I underlined in my Bible as I read them. I felt them immediately and personally.
God hears my prayer, that one I keep to myself, the one where I dream the impossible dream. He hears my prayer. And while my dream is statistically improbable. While I am not the most credentialed or best candidate, God is bigger than all of that.
He can make old women pregnant. He can have my words fall into the laps of the right people.
I know he may not. I know that my worth is bigger than my accomplishments or lack thereof.
I know all that.
But today, I was reminded that God knows my prayer.
And that God is bigger than any statistics or improbabilities.
Today that hope is enough.
Where do you need hope today?