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Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem
- Luke 2: 36-38 NLT
Anna was widowed at a very young age. In those days it would have been expected of her to marry again and have children. Anna though, in her darkest hour, turned to God and chose to spend the rest of her days in prayer, worship, and fasting. It is said in Luke 2:37 that “she never left the Temple, but stayed there day and night,” which figuratively speaking means that she walked in God’s will and talked to Him each day.
Instead of being swallowed in by despair, Anna finds her strength and delight in the Lord. With God’s anointing, the widow becomes a prophetess, a beacon of hope to those looking for deliverance. She “continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.”
What is our first reaction when we hit a bump in the road? Do you call a friend, a parent, vent on social media? Or do you turn to prayer?
My husband and I are both facing some big challenges right now and it’s really tough on us. It took me weeks to figure out why God decided that I should be the one writing a devotion about Anna. I just couldn’t place myself in Anna’s shoes; I guess I was too busy trying to find solutions and coming up with strategies to solve our problems. This morning, when yet another meeting was cancelled by a client while I was actually on my way to her, I stopped for a quick coffee and bumped into an old friend of mine, a widow!
And this widow tells me about all the challenges she’s been dealing with the past six months and how, two weeks ago, she just handed it all over to God and started spending her time in prayer instead of wasting time on fixing her problems. Today she feels healthier, lighter, and she has hope for her future again.
God is telling me today, through the testimonies of two widows living centuries apart, to find hope in prayer. Stop trying to do what the world expects me to do. Stop trying to solve my own problems. Stop wasting time! Spend time in prayer instead.
1. What problems are you trying to solve by yourself? Identify those challenges and pray about them.
2. If we’re really being honest with ourselves, we can identify a lot of “time wasters” during our day. Reflect on those “time wasters” and start cultivating a new habit by replacing “time wasters” with prayer time instead. You might want to consider an accountability partner to help you with this.
Dear Lord, I wasted so much precious time on trying to find solutions instead of giving my time and problems to You. I wasted so many tears instead of finding my hope in You. I wanted to achieve what the world expected of me, when I should have spent more time in prayer and found my hope in You instead. Thank You, Lord, for teaching me today that my hope is found in spending time in prayer, and not in this world.
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