|Simeon and Anna Praise the Infant Jesus by Arent de Gelder|
We have read of all the many and different roles Christian women have. We know of the stay at home mom, the faithful wife, the single woman, the teacher, the counselor, the friend, the writer, the one who is always there to encourage others, the one who is always willing to serve, the first to come and the last to leave-, etc. We need all of these women in the church and we need the gifts God has given each one of us to help us grow and become more Christ-like.
However, I have seen that there is one role that is many times forgotten among women. We don't talk about it; we forget how much we need it and how much we should strive for it. That is the role of women who intercede, who live in the face of God, who can say, like the psalmist, "For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere." (Psalm 84:10)
This week as I was reading Luke, the account of Anna touched me deeply. Look at it with me: Anna was an eight-four years old widow (she was only married for seven years), and Luke tells us that, "she did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day." And on an specific day and hour, the day and hour Jesus was presented in the temple, she came to the temple and "began to give thanks to God and speak of Him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Israel." (Luke 2:36-38). Anna was a woman who was not thinking too much about what was she supposed to be doing with her life in the midst of her circumstances, she chose the best part -just like years later Mary would choose (Luke 10: 38-42), she was happy to be a woman of who loved being with God. Anna did exactly what I want to practice doing more and more, she worshiped God, she gave thanks, she prayed, she fasted. She waited. And her waiting was not in vain, she saw her Savior, her prayers were answered, her reward came.
How much do we hear of women exhorting women to become women who are faithful intercessors?
Young women, start now. Start in the midst of your circumstances, start in the early morning hour before going to school. Start now, on the commute to your job. Start now, while you cook breakfast and dinner for your husband. Start now, while changing diapers and organizing closets. Start now. Start today, don't wait until you are older to become a woman who values intercession. Don't wait until the hard trials come. Don't wait until the well of your soul dries up. Pray now. We need your prayers and you need your prayers.
Is your nest starting to look empty? Is mid-life staring at you on the face? Are you still waiting for *that* promise? This is the place to start. Start praying. Pray more. Pray faithfully. Pray with thanksgiving. Pray without ceasing. Pray to the God who hears. Pray with hope. Pray waiting for an answer. Pray big prayers to a big God.
I love to see that Anna's prayer life was not something that was kept locked inside a closet. Notice that Anna came out of the temple, the place where she would meet with God, and because she had seen her Savior there, she was able to speak of Him to those who were in need. A rich prayer life leads to a rich life with others.
Note that she was not a teacher -I love to teach and I love teachers, but this is not what Anna does here-. She spoke God's words to those in need, she spoke about Jesus, the Spoken Word, the Incarnate Word of God. You cannot have a true woman of prayer if you don't have a woman who loves the Word and abides in the Word, and studies the Word and meditates and prays the Word. And when you have a woman like this, you want to be close to her. She will speak words of hope, words that promise a redemption to those around her. She will reach out and give the Word.
This Advent season pray that you may pray more. Wait before Him in quietness and prayer, and then go out and share Jesus and His Word with those around you.
Under His sun and by His grace,