April 29

Luke 2:36-38 36There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Yesterday evening's devotion was about Simeon who was waiting to see the Messiah before he died. A few verses later we have the prophetess, Anna. Eighty-four was a very old age for that time. This sincere woman never left the temple! Can you imagine never leaving your church grounds? Her life was given completely in service to God.

When she saw Simeon take the baby and begin to praise God, she knew in her spirit that He was the One. Then she hurried around to tell all the others that were waiting for the Messiah. When God is about to do something, He calls His children to pray it into the earth. There may have been a whole group of these praying saints.

It is interesting that the word 'redemption' is used instead of 'salvation'. Jesus was going to pay the price to set them free. This was not the time for political upheaval. It was the hour of spiritual exchange.

The Anna ministry is a much-needed ministry today. There are a growing number of retired folk with time on their hands and a desire to serve God. The church has taught them that service means going out and doing some physical service, and so they feel as though they can no longer serve. Imagine an army of Annas in the Temple day and night in prayer and fasting! That would change the spiritual climate in our churches, cities and nations. Perhaps you know of someone who you could encourage with Anna's testimony. There are an increasing number of "prayer furnaces" in which prayer is going up day and night. Perhaps their call is to one of these, or in their own church, to really devote themselves to prayer. (Colossians 4:2)

Consider: Is God calling you to such a ministry?