This is the first post in my new #PrayBoldGirl series, where we will look at the challenges and dreams of women from history and learn from their prayers. Even though separated by centuries their needs are no different than our own. We will consider how they prayed and discover how we too can make bold prayers.
Do you ever feel your worth as a woman is defined by the number of children you have?
I’m sure Elizabeth, the woman we are looking at for this month in our series #PrayBoldGirl felt inadequate because she didn’t have five or six children running her off her feet.
Elizabeth had to live with the shame of a home devoid of the noise and mess of little ones. Even though her husband could have been infertile, women were blamed.
Nicknamed “barren one,” her empty home would have been looked upon with disapproval by her neighbors.
All her life Elizabeth waited to get pregnant. Every month she hoped her body’s usual signs of rejection would be absent. But, the cycle continued.
Her husband could have taken another wife to gain an heir. He had good reason to leave Elizabeth. Yet, he stayed, and I’m sure, they prayed together.
How Elizabeth must have dreamed of snuggling a baby in her arms. Now, there was no chance. Nature had taken its course. Her body told her it would never yield a child.
Elizabeth had to live with the disappointment of her prayers not being answered, and she had to come to terms with the fact they would never be fulfilled.
There seemed no hope her deep desire would be met.
Do you have one prayer you are waiting for God to answer? Yet, the response you want hasn’t come.
For years and years I made the same prayer request, asking God to do one thing for me. I pleaded with him to answer in the way I wanted.
As time went by, I thought, “God’s never going to agree to my desires.” “If he wanted to answer my prayer, he would have done it by now.” I’ve even asked myself, “What’s the point?”
Perhaps, eventually, you’ve given up, too.
It seems, though, that Elizabeth and Zechariah never stopped praying.
Your prayer has been heard, the angel tells Zechariah. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son.
It’s a lesson for us to never give up praying.
Jesus told us we should not quit in prayer. He told a story: We are to be like the widow, who had no one to fight for her, but kept pestering a mean judge to grant her justice. She never backed down. Eventually, the judge conceded to her wishes just so he could have some peace.
We petition a good God not a mean judge when we pray. We appeal to a God who longs to answer and not just to shut us up. This story is to inspire us to persist in prayer.
Persevere in prayer because God hears your prayers.
I don’t know when your prayer will be answered, but I do know, like Elizabeth, you should have determination.
Be a strong woman who prays persistently. God hears your prayer.
Read Elizabeth’s story in the Gospel of Luke 1 and use this prayer.