But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son; you will name him John. Joy and gladness will come to you, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go as forerunner before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.”
Luke 1:13-17 NET
For what did Zechariah pray, for so long? For a son? What else did he ask? Probably, he didn’t ask for much more than a son. Maybe for his son’s good health. Maybe to see his son grow into a man. Normal things, desires that the majority of people have.
But see the verse above for how the child would be special. How God would make him a part of his plan of salvation. How his birth would bring joy and gladness not only to John, but to many. How he would be great in the Lord’s sight.
I doubt that Zechariah asked for all that. But God gave it to him, because he was good, because the man who asked was a righteous man, faithful and persevering.
God hears our prayer also, the first time we ask. And, after days or weeks or years, he still hears and, in his good time, answers. If we are dedicated, devoted and righteous people, with believing and persevering prayers.
When God acts to make his answer evident, we will see how he, just as in Zechariah’s case, will answer far beyond our dreams as well.
Perhaps like Zechariah, we’ll be tongue-tied, so marveled will we be at his answer.