The Spirit has been giving me a fresh look at the so very familiar scenes of the Advent.
I have been examining the scenes and characters that have a part in the unfolding of this wondrous story.
Zacharias' role has been the focus these past few days.
Yesterday's reading, which is found in the First chapter of Luke, found the priest entering the temple to perform his priestly service before the LORD.
You know how you can be reading a section of Scripture and suddenly a verse or phrase seems to stand out? It is as if it were in bold print or maybe a different font and though it is neither, it stills stands out and captures you.
That was verse ten for me.
"And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering."As Zacharias went into the temple and went about his duties, the people were praying.
This made me think of the importance of prayer; the power of prayer.
I am a believer in prayer.
I have experienced its power many a time!
That is why I am not shy about asking for prayer.
And that is why I know it is essential to do everything prayerfully and commit everything to God through prayer.
My LORD has blessed me with many opportunities to minister in His Name.
I do not take any of it lightly and I want to be certain that it bears as much fruit as He intends.
For this to happen there has to be much prayer going on!
Each week I send an update out of my time with my rehab friends, which includes their prayer requests and needs that I observe.
For many years I did not do this. For certain there were a few friends praying, but their prayers were more general. Now people all around the world are praying specifically for these dear people.
The opportunity to touch lives has increased, I believe, in direct relation to the prayers of my faithful praying friends.
I wonder if those praying realize what an integral part they are playing in this ministry?
I wonder if the people outside the temple realized, as they called on the LORD, what was going on in the temple and what part they were playing?
Their prayers were filling the place with praise and petition to their God. They were focused on Him and setting the scene for Zacharias' encounter with the angelic being.
How often we pray and yet have no idea the blessing and power that we are releasing!
While I spoke on Friday night there were those who were faithfully praying for me and those who were part of the gathering.
Because of those prayers I am confident that the message my LORD gave me did and will touch hearts!
For years I have prayed specifically for my children.
I have claimed verses and used them in prayer.
I have witnessed answers in accordance with what I prayed.
However, every answer has been so much more than I ever could even imagine!
We can find example after example of the value of prayer.
Our prayers cause angels to be sent out to bring the answers!
I think of Daniel encountering the angel Gabriel, who tells him that his prayers are what caused the angel to visit him.
Then there are the believers praying for the imprisoned Peter. Having no idea that their prayers could really cause him to be freed, they didn't believe it when it happened! They came to know that their prayers had caused the appearance of the angel to release their friend!
Our God calls us to be in communication with Him continually.
He sets such value on our prayers that He stores the prayers of the saints under His altar!
Such a gift we have been given!
The gift of the Living God's attending to our every prayer.
I, for one, do not want to neglect such a treasure!
Let's store up all the prayers possible for one another!