"But the angel said unto him: Be not afraid, Zechariah, your prayer has been heard" (Luke 1:13)
Sometimes when we pray, we wonder if there really is someone there who hears and answers our prayers. We think that prayer just echoes out into an empty room and we wonder if it’s at all worthwhile to express ourselves to someone we can’t see and talk with, with our natural senses. It feels as though our prayers simply bounce on the ceiling. At such times it’s good to read today's scripture, where the angel of Zechariah declares that his prayers have been heard.
In the Book of Daniel, we find something of an explanation why prayer requests can sometimes be delayed. Daniel had in prayer penetrated deeply into the spirit world. He had fasted and prayed for three weeks. Only then did something happen. Daniel had an angelic visit, just as Zechariah would later experience. And the angel opens his message to Daniel in the same way that he would do later when the angel spoke to Zechariah; ‘Do not be afraid!’ Then the angel continues to tell Daniel that from the very day Daniel had begun to seek the Lord, his prayers had been heard, but a prince of the spirit world had resisted the Lord's messenger in 21 days. (Dan 10:12-13)
The Bible calls us to persevere in prayer. The idea that there is a contravention of the spirit world, where the angels of God have to hit through, encourages us to not give up but to pave the way for God´s answer through persistent prayers.
Lord, forgive us for often giving up too easily in our prayer expectations. Thank you for allowing us to join in the spiritual battle and through our prayers of intercession contribute to change for the betterment here on Earth.