Have you ever prayed to God about something for a long time? I mean, I really long time, so long that you started wondering if God was listening? So long that you thought to yourself, “Okay, maybe God’s got something better planned,” but you keep praying anyway? So long that your friends have started giving you that line about how sometimes God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers? (That’s from Garth Brooks, by the way, not the Bible.)
Have you ever keep praying anyway, because what you’re praying for is good: healing or health, or a new job, a mended relationship, or peace with your children? Have you ever kept praying, even though God was silent? Where’s the hope?
The first chapter of the Gospel of Luke tells the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah, who have been praying for a child for a long, long time. “Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord, but they had no children because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years” (Luke 1:7-8).