“But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.” —Luke 1:13
Can you imagine a nine-month silent retreat? For some, a welcome gift. For others, excruciating. Zechariah had a lot of questions about his barren wife’s pregnancy, so God offered him a season of silence, making him unable to speak until his child’s birth. He had no choice but to silently ponder: the angel Gabriel’s astonishing news, the years of waiting for a child, the silence of the prophets and God’s own apparent silent retreat.
For four hundred years, one evil empire after another trampled Israel underfoot with no apparent response from God. All those years of unanswered prayer: for Zechariah, a son; for Israel, a Messiah. Imagine the disappointment, discouragement and despair. Perhaps you don’t need to imagine it because you’ve experienced it.
Many of Frontier Fellowship’s global partners have also experienced the discouragement of seemingly unanswered prayer. They labor tirelessly—day after day, year after year—waiting for their work to bear fruit, for the light of Christ to break through in the hearts of the people they serve.
During Advent, we wait in the dark, longing for the Light. We wait and watch for Jesus to right all wrongs, to draw not only us, but all peoples, to Himself, and answer once and for all our Advent prayer, “Come, Lord Jesus!” When Gabriel appears to Zechariah, God’s long silence is broken. God is doing a new thing, and Zechariah’s son—John—will prepare the way for the Lord, to give knowledge of salvation to His people.
This Advent season, in whatever unknowing you might find yourself, with whatever prayers are yet unanswered, God sends a word of hope: Don’t give up. Wait and watch. Jesus is coming!
God, help me trust You when I can’t see or hear You. Encourage indigenous leaders on the frontier as they also wait to see Your Kingdom come.
Explore tools to help guide your prayers for the frontier at frontierfellowship.com/pray