Faith so audacious,
We dare to believe
That God is greater
Than all we see;
That He is more powerful
Than any circumstance;
We are guided by His will;
We simply don’t live by chance.
Faith so audacious
We trust Him and pray,
Till we have heard Him;
Then we obey.
Living with expectancy;
Bold because we belong
To Papa God’s household;
The Lord most gracious and strong.
Faith so audacious
We happily rest
In God’s loving arms,
Where we are blessed.
We receive His provision;
Papa’s unending care;
Then we give it to others,
Rejoicing in all we share.
Faith so audacious
We know He will heal
Injury and disease
With power so real.
We still look for miracles
From Jesus, Risen King;
We live out courageous faith
For God is our Everything.
Lord, have mercy:
Loving Father, God Most High,
Thank You for Your great compassion.
Thank You for love that transcends every situation.
Thank You for understanding us so well.
Though You have the power to do anything,
Let Your lovingkindness prevail on us and our nation. Amen.
Christ, have mercy:
Anointed One of God, Savior of the world,
Thank You for Your profound sacrifice.
Thank You for redemption and healing.
Thank You for bringing us into the Household of God.
May Your finished work be manifest in our lives. Amen.
Lord, have mercy:
Lord of lords, King of kings,
May Your Kingdom be made known on Earth,
Until every sickness is banished,
Every injury is forgiven and healed,
Death is never seen again. Amen.
Luke 1:5In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
8Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13But 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. 14He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for 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. 16He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17And 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.”
18Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
19The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
21Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
23When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25“The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
I learned recently that the phrase , “your prayer has been heard” (v 13) carries the sense of a prayer that has been let go for a very long time. This could probably read, That prayer you used to pray before you gave up on it…
I relate to that: There are things I have sought the Lord for; then given up on because they haven’t happened. I’m betting you have some of those as well.
In the light of this understanding, Zechariah’s reaction makes perfect sense. It is far too easy to allow doubt, discouragement and unbelief to move in.
The question is, what shall we do with prayers that don’t seem to get answered?
I only have a whisper of insight: Keep on keeping on. One thing Elizabeth and Zechariah did right was to continue in their lives and work. They “were righteous in the sight of God.” (v6) When the Lord’s timing came, he gave them their desire.
I understand with all heartache, quandary and “hope against hope” about fighting that sense that “It’s too late.” Zechariah and Elizabeth certainly struggled with that one. God’s answer: He gave them what they had asked for.
Is it ever too late for God?
I fix my eyes, oh Lord,
On things unseen:
The reality of your kingdom;
That for Eternity will be.
I set my mind, oh Lord,
On things above:
Where my life remains hidden in you;
Enfolded in your precious love.
I set my heart, oh Lord,
On who you are:
Savior, Redeemer, Healer and King;
Most brightly shining morning star.
I lay my all, oh Lord,
Before your throne:
As a sacrifice of devotion;
I serve and worship you alone.
This beautiful song was released in 2010 by Gateway Worship.
The main theme is,
“I hear the Lord passing by;
This could be my day of visitation…”
If we ever needed such a day, it’s now.
“Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly.”
Jesus, my hope is in you alone.
I put my trust fully in you.
I have confidence in your unfailing love
That governs all you do.
Jesus, no matter what others say;
Their predictions of gloom and doom,
I choose to believe what you alone have said;
Leaving despair no room.
Jesus, my faith is anchored in you;
Your reality what I know.
Though worries and fears do their best to get me,
I love and trust you so!
shine ever brighter
Until all darkness flees before you.
Prince of Peace,
Take your rightful place,
Until all principalities yield.
Lord of love
Fill us more fully,
So that we recognize and know you.
Most High God,
We glorify you,
Till even the atmosphere has changed.
The whole world is yours;
Let Heaven and Earth bow before you.
Love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV)
I was watching a vid by Bill Johnson recently. One of the points he made was a firm warning:
“Do not keep a record of the things that you’ve prayed for for years without seeing results.”
He went on to say that, when we do this, we create “intellectual offense.” We build a case against God. I would add, it breeds mistrust: It’s difficult to believe and receive from someone who supposedly has not answered us.
Instead, keep a record of what God has done. The Psalms are full of verses that admonish us to remember:
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. …
Make music to praise the LORD, you faithful people who belong to him. Remember his holiness by giving thanks. … Ps 30:4
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. … PS 77:11
Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced … Ps 105:5
I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. … I remember the days of old. … Ps 143:5
They will announce what they remember of your great goodness, and they will joyfully sing about your righteousness. … Ps 145:7
I think there is one giant reason to remember what God has done: We love Him. I started this post with 1 Cor. 13:5. If we honor, serve others, forgive and keep record of good things when it comes to people, would it not be even more desirable to do so when it comes to God, the One who made and loves us so profoundly!
As we express our love and affection for Him in this way, we open the doors of blessing, not because He has been stingy; but instead, because we are in a much better position to receive from Him.
What have you asked for that has not yet come? Would you lay that thing and the time you have waited down as an offering to God today?
There is an aspect of prayer that I have been pondering for a while: Expectations. This matter seems quite basic; yet it is so powerful, we do well to consider it with all diligence and care.
When you pray, what kind of answer do you expect to get?
Does knowing that God absolutely loves you with all that HE is change your expectancy?
I love scales! That’s because almost all of life happens in degrees and we move one way or the other. Here then, are my scaling questions for you:
0=Not at all – – – – – – – – – 10=absolutely; without reservation
Does God love you? 0 – – – – – – – – – 10
Does He provide for you? 0 – – – – – – – – – 10
Does He heal all wounds and diseases? 0 – – – – – – – – – 10
Does He forgive all sins? 0 – – – – – – – – – 10
Does HE protect you? 0 – – – – – – – – – 10
Does He give you things that you would like to have, but don’t necessarily need? 0 – – – – – – – – 10
Do you trust Him, even when circumstances are hard? 0 – – – – – – – – – 10
Do you expect to hear and understand when you ask God questions? 0 – – – – – – – – – 10
Do you expect blessings in this life? 0 – – – – – – – – – 10
Does God like you? 0 – – – – – – – – 10
Does He think you’re awesome and precious? 0 – – – – – – – – – 10
Does God answer prayer in a timely manner? 0 – – – – – – – – – 10
I could probably come up with plenty of questions, but I’ll get to my point.
According to Scripture, the answer on every scale is “10:” Absolutely; without reservation. We have a hard time living at that level of expectancy, however. Experience, inner struggles, lies we believe and the fact that God is so much greater than our own understanding get in our way. The challenge is, we are called to grow into this level of absolute trust. That is part of what being changed from glory to glory is all about.
Just to add emphasis and challenge your thinking a bit, consider this prayer from Ephesians 3:
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend (some versions say “grasp”) with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
Such wonderful paradoxes! He is able to do above and beyond; yet He wants us to grasp the height, depth and bredth of His love…Wow!!
In what ways are you most challenged when you consider trusting God and expecting answers that bless? Confess your struggle to Him; ask for His help; be ready for His answer.
When do you find that you trust Him more readily? Thank Him for His grace that makes this possible; ask for even more in this area.
What do you want most from God? Ask Him for it. When you get your answer, please come back and share: Testimony is a strong faith builder for all of us.