36 There was also a prophet named Anna. She was the daughter of Penuel from the tribe of Asher. Anna was very old. After getting married, she lived with her husband seven years. 37 Then she was a widow until she was 84. She never left the temple. She worshiped night and day, praying and going without food. 38 Anna came up to Jesus’ family at that moment. She gave thanks to God. And she spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the time when Jerusalem would be set free. 39 Joseph and Mary did everything the Law of the Lord required. Then they returned to Galilee. They went to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong. He was very wise. He was blessed by God’s grace.
I used to think Anna was just in retirement. No so! She positioned herself in the strongest, most useful and effective place on earth – on her knees before Eternal God.
I wonder what great things she and God accomplished in her 84 years? How many wars did she prevent? How many people were healed? She was a pillar of strength and morality preserving her community. She did this by positioning herself in prayer before God.
Here’s what I like most – this attitude of prayer enabled her to recognise Jesus. Think about it – she was very old, probably had bad eye sight, Jesus was only a child, he hadn’t done any miracles, yet Anna recognised Him immediately as God’s rescuer of mankind (v38). Some of the disciples couldn’t even see that – and that’s after they had spent every day for 3 years with Jesus, seen all his miracles, seen Him die and be raised back to life (see a Matthew 28:17).
Anna had an amazing life and was able to see the unseen because she positioned herself constantly before God in prayer. Lord, please help me do the same. Amen!
Written by Boudy vanNoppen