I'm a married working woman, in the midst of raising three sons with my husband. We live each day in the most technologically advanced period of history. Plugged in, tuned in, signed in, turned on. Busy. Busy. Busy. What can I learn from a widow that lived in a church 2000 years ago?
Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38
She was a daughter - Me too.
She had been a wife - Me too.
She was old - I feel old some days.
She was devout.
She was an evangelist.
Anna was devout. She was committed to the practice of fasting and prayer. It wasn't what she did, it was how she lived. In constant communion with God - worshiping night and day... In all things, at all times, on all occasions. Not just from nine to noon on Sundays. Not before meals and at bedtime. Her conversation with her creator was uninterrupted.
Devout. Sacrificing physical comfort for deeper connection with her heavenly father ...with her fasting and prayers. Fasting without prayer is what I call "a diet." Forgetting to eat lunch isn't fasting. Skipping dinner 'cause there is no time for the drive thru isn't fasting either. Prayer is not thinking, and it's not wishing. It's something that you choose to do on purpose. Prayer is never accidental. It takes time and effort. It's communication and it's parting of growing a love relationship with God. It's getting to know God in a different way, and letting Him get to know me.
Devout. Anna was paying attention and looking for the movement of God ...at the very moment Simeon was praying she showed up... Anna was no frog on a log. She didn't just show up for church and sit in her polite little seat. No! She was a worshiper of the Most High God. She knew God. She loved God. Anna didn't rely on her friends relationship with God, or her pastors relationship with God. She and God were on a first name basis.
Devout ...broke into anthem of praise to God...when God moves God should be praised. It's not about "look how cool this is for me", it's about WOW! GOD ROCKS! Anna understood what it is to glorify God for God's glory.
Devout. Anna talked about how God had moved. She didn't keep the treasure to herself ...and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem. She was sharing the good news story in real time. She told everybody. Everyone needed what she knew. Everyone needed WHO she knew.
Do I live a life of worship - or do I just sing until I "feel" connected on Sunday mornings?
Do I live a life of prayer - or am I just thinking and wishing?
Do I sacrifice physical comfort for greater spiritual things?
Am I paying attention for the movement of God?
Am I sharing the good news story in real time?
Thanks Anna. Your example helps me understand and challenges me to be more intentional in my own faith journey.