WHAT WE CAN LEARN ABOUT PRAYER FROM MARY'S VISIT
GOD HAD SENT GABRIEL TO NAZARETH
Mary was truly favored by God and now she has been visited by the angel Gabriel and has been told she will conceive our Lord Jesus. We don't have a specific age for Mary... but different scholars place her age between 14 & 17 years old. In LUKE 1:36 Mary was told that her cousin Elizabeth had also conceived and would bring forth a son.
MARY TRAVELS TO VISIT ELIZABETH
And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; LUKE 1:39 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth. LUKE 1:40 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost... LUKE 1:41
Mary being the younger of the two women, knew that they should come together. It made more sense for her to travel to Elizabeth and so she arose and left her affairs to attend to this greater matter. The journey was about 80-100 miles and would take 3-4 days. Mary also had to have someone travel with her, as young girls did not travel alone in those days.
WHAT COULD MARY BE TRULY PONDERING
I wonder what Mary's state of mind was? Did she wonder who she could talk to? Who would believe her when she told them that an angel had visited her, not only visited but told her the Holy Spirit would come upon her, she would conceive a son and He would be the "Son of God!"
Think about that for a moment, here is a young girl, in a devout family with a good upbringing and now she must tell them she is going to bear a child, not just any child but the Son of God.
Mary must have thought and hoped that her cousin Elizabeth would understand. After all, she was barren and now God has given her a child!' So Mary hurriedly prepares for her trip, not so much out of fear but she is probably overwhelmed as well as excited. She is looking for guidance and Elizabeth seems to be just the person.
Elizabeth was six months pregnant when Mary entered their home with greetings. Greetings which were an important ceremony for the Jewish people. Jesus had instructed his disciples to offer a greeting of "Peace to you" in the homes that they entered. This greeting, when received is like a powerful blessing upon the household.
MARY'S POWERFUL GREETING
Mary's greeting must have been very powerful, for two things happened immediately upon her entering and speaking. Luke 1:41 tells us - 1. The baby John... instantly leaped within Elizabeth's womb, And number 2. Elizabeth was promptly filled with the Holy Spirit and she began to speak prophetically.
Luke 1:42-45 Tells us: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
Elizabeth's reaction was anything but quiet and reserved. The Bible tells us she spoke out with a "loud voice!" I believe her greeting was more than just loud, it was powerful, because she was now Spirit-filled and she was under the power of the Holy Spirit.
Elizabeth offered two blessings under divine inspiration first, upon Mary herself, as being blessed above all other women and second upon baby Jesus, who was probably only a few weeks along at this point. She stated aloud, "Why would the mother of my Lord" come and visit her.
How did Elizabeth know that Mary's child was the Lord Jesus Christ? Again, it was the power of the Holy Spirit that gave her special knowledge of Mary's condition, her blessedness and her faith!
Did you ever wonder why Zacharias and Elizabeth were barren for so many years? Or why Mary stayed with them for three months? Zacharias and Elizabeth had lived many years and had gleaned much knowledge from their life experiences. Life experiences that Elizabeth would be able to share with Mary, who was young and inexperienced.
Elizabeth, had been filled not only with the Holy Spirit, but with the "Power of the Holy Spirit!" I am sure she was able to discuss and answer many of Mary's questions about what was happening to her. I am also sure Mary was able to learn and draw Godly knowledge and wisdom from her elder cousin.
PRAYERS ANSWERED IN GOD'S TIMING
It is almost a little insight into "why" God allows certain things to happen at specific times. So you see, those things which we have no way of knowing about, might be the very reasons for "why" a prayer isn't answered the way we think it should be answered.
If Elizabeth had become pregnant at an early age, Zacharias might not have kept praying with such fervency. Elizabeth might not have been able to answer questions from Mary and Mary might not have been prepared for the birth of a Savior!
God's ways, while not always known, are still the best ways! Trust Him today for what He is doing or allowing in your life! Trust Him even for your unanswered prayers... there is a reason!