In continuing with the theme of this month, Biblical Women’s History, this week I wanted to highlight a woman from the New Testament who isn’t mentioned much but was considered by some as the first Christian missionary.
In just two verses, found in Luke 2:36-38, we learn alot of about Anna, whose name means “grace” in Greek (Blueletterbible.org). The first 2 things we learn is that she was a prophetess and that she was the daughter of Phanuel, who was from the tribe of Asher. Asher, was the 8th son of Jacob bore by Zilpah (Genesis 30:13) Then, we learn that Anna was now a widow for 84 years, having lost her husband after only 7 years of marriage (Luke 2:36).
There are 3 things I want to highlight here that stemmed from Anna’s continual practice–her daily habit:
Then she lived as a widow to the age of 84. She never left the Temple, but stayed there day and night, worshipping God with fasting and prayer.”Luke 2:37, NLT
- Her practice (daily habit of worship, fasting and praise) put her in the right position to see the King. (v.38)
- Her positioning led her into the presence of Jesus. (v. 38)
- Being in Jesus’ presence led to praise. (v. 38)
Talk about commitment! Imagine what kind of relationship we would have with the Lord if we never left His house and our life was dedicated to worshipping, fasting and prayer! Sounds like what heaven will be like right? Anna was on earth practicing for what she would be doing up there-as it already is in heaven!
Anna didn’t allow the circumstances of her life to deter her from serving God continually. Because of her wholehearted commitment to God, she ended up being at the right place at the right time and was in position to witness the presentation of Jesus in the Temple.
Something happened when she got in position and in the presence of the Lord. Right at the time that Simeon, another prophet, was praising God and speaking prophetically to Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, this woman of God stepped on the scene. Anna immediately began praising God. When she began praising God, the Good News began to flow out of her mouth. Hope flowed from her lips for those who had been looking for redemption. She recognized redemption had come in the person of Jesus Christ and couldn’t keep it to herself.
As we consider Anna this week, may we be found just as committed and making it a continual practice to be found worshipping, fasting and praying. We never know what position it will place us in to experience the fullness of His presence, to give praise to His name and to tell others of the redemption that He brings.
Scripture references: The Holy Bible (NLT)
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