Now there was one, Anna, ...a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. (Luke 2:36-37)
Your faithfulness allows God to reveal greater insight to you than to the less faithful. Faithfulness brings opportunities to you that are not given to the unfaithful. God takes pleasure in answering prayers that come from a faithful heart.
Anna had been a widow for many years. In her day, a widow had little status in society and was virtually helpless on her own. Anna spent her time, day and night, in prayer and fasting in the temple. As she prayed, she yearned to see the Messiah. God chose few people to encounter the Savior when He was born, revealing His Son only to those whose hearts were faithful and pure. Anna was one of those few. Jesus would later say to His followers, “Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear . . . it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the_kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given” (Matt. 13:16, 11).
Anna continued faithfully in prayer until her prayer was answered. The answer to her prayers did not come immediately. In fact, it came near the end of her life. But God honored her faithfulness. God’s redemptive plan to send the Messiah included answering the prayers of a humble widow.
Faithful praying may mean a lifetime of waiting to receive an answer. God is looking for intercessors who are willing to continue to pray and to believe until they see God’s answer.