Zechariah the Priest & Prayer

Luke 1:5a In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah…

Luke 1:8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty…

This is the introduction of Zechariah the priest, father of John the Baptist.

But first, let’s look at the name Zechariah. His name means “Yah has remembered”. It would appear, Zechariah is the first person to talk to the angel (Gabriel) in the New Testament. We know that he has prayed for a child.

Luke 1:13a But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard…

A man whose name means “Yah remembers” has prayed to Yahweh. Yah has heard, remembered, and grants “Yah remembers” his wish. Then “Yah remembers” does not believe Yah remembered him and discounts the promise of a child.

Luke 1:18 “How can I be sure of this?” Zechariah asked the angel. “I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.”

~

Luke 1:11 Just then, an angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah, standing at the right side of the altar of the incense.

The angel was located at the right side. Symbolically, the right of God is known as a position of presence, power, and authority. Christ has ascended into Heaven and is located at the right hand of the Father.

golden_altar_of_incense

The directions for the construction and purpose of the altar of incense are located in Exodus 30. The priests are instructed to burn incense continually. This is a request for all generations. The burning of incense is perpetual.

Exodus 30:7-8 And Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it. Every morning when he dresses the lamps he shall burn it, and when Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he shall burn it, a regular incense offering before the LORD throughout your generations.

The incense is fragrant and pleasing to smell. God only wants incense from this altar.

Exodus 30:9 You shall not offer unauthorized incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering, and you shall not pour a drink offering on it.

In Revelation, in the throne room of Heaven, the incense is equated with prayers.

Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne…

Despite being a priest and serving God in the Temple, Zechariah did not believe God’s message. He was still granted his prayer request. But with his unbelief, there was a consequence. Silence!

Luke 1:20 And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day this comes to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time. -Gabriel

Do not underestimate the power of our prayers. Gabriel was located at a position of authority near the symbol for prayers.

Prayer should be part of our lives. God wants us to communicate with Him. He desires to hear from us. Our prayers are a sweet aroma to Him. He does listen and He always remembers.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-19 pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.

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