[Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside
at the hour of the incense offering,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him,
standing at the right of the altar of incense.
Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah,
because your prayer has been heard.] (Lk. 1:10-13a)
In our Gospel we hear the annunciation account of John the Baptist (cf. Lk. 1:5-25). Zechariah, John’s father, receives this joyful news with great fear and disbelief. He can’t see any possible way for God to grant his prayer for a child in his old age.
Interestingly enough the angel tells Zechariah not to be afraid precisely because his prayer has been heard and consequently answered. Zechariah has no need to fear because God is all powerful and can do anything, even give him a son in his old age. This, the goodness and power of God, is something that Zechariah doubts.
So very often you and I do the same thing. We doubt God cares, that things will get better, and that God even listens to our prayers. God is more willing to give than we are to ask. We, at times, like Zechariah, doubt God’s power and even His goodness.
What have you been afraid to ask God for in prayer? Have you stopped asking for something because you think He doesn’t care enough to answer you? As Christmas approaches begin these conversations or start them back up again with God. By being born in the manger God proves He is willing to give you what you need. Are you still willing to ask Him?