SURPRISES…are things or events that come into one’s life that were not planned or expected. I love to give and receive them. They add a zing to life. Of course, not all are positive. No need to list those. Some can be devastating. Kids are full of surprises, in what they say, do or think. For most young parents, there usually is several each day.
During the advent season, we studied the story about the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. Luke records in Chapter One that they were still childless in their older age. Both were ‘righteous before God’. For the first time as a priest he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. This was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity. He goes in, expecting to offer prayers, most likely praying for a child someway; when suddenly he is confronted by an angel of the Lord. Frightening! Then he is told he will become a father—of John the Baptist.
Zechariah had lived expectantly, faithful in his life walk with God. But nothing could have prepared him for what he heard. He responds like most, “I can’t believe it; how can this happen”? For that, he was struck mute till John was born. Do you see yourself in this story? I do, big time! I pray long and hard for certain things and actually pray expectantly, but then when it happens miraculously, my first reaction is; “I can’t believe it”.
Our pastor made this statement. “Live expectantly, but expect the unexpected.” What an awesome thought, a faith-filled mindset! Dads, are you calling on God to do mighty things in and through your children, you, your wife, your family? Are you asking for the miraculous? Why not—with God all things are possible. This is a direct quote from the Son of God as recorded in Mark 10:27.
Dads, you have been given authority in your family as its earthly high priest and the patriarch. You are privileged to go into your prayer room and offer prayers and petitions for you and them, to intercede on their behalf. That is what Zechariah was doing when he received the incredible message that he and Elizabeth were going to be parents, miraculously. They had been praying for this all their lives.
God is listening
I once heard that ‘God runs his universe through the prayers of his people’. If that is so, and I believe it is; it gives evidence to why he provided prayer in the first place? You are just like Zechariah—in the very throne room of God; and Jesus, our High Priest, is there listening and entreating the Father on your behalf. If it will bring honor and glory to the Father, it will be done. Count on it! Don’t your wife and children deserve your all out best effort in your times of prayer? Zechariah thought so; and so should you.
From tiny, minute things to world changing miracles, God hears and delivers, if it is in accordance with his will. And how do you know his will; it’s in his word. I am sure Zechariah was entreating God on behalf of Israel (and his wife) with the word of God. He knew it verbatim, and he prayed it, fully assured through faith that God would answer in his own time and way. Same for you!
When you are praying, think of it this way. You and the triune God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit are having a board meeting to plan and execute the future of your family and your circle of influence. He invites you to the meeting, daily, maybe hourly. He even comes to you and you don’t even have to travel. How’s that for accommodating? No excuses, just results! So, let’s get after it; time’s a’wasting! And don’t be surprised when all those answers come pouring in. It’ll be truly amazing!