Anna – A Beloved Widow, Prophetess, & Heralding Voice
The courtyard of the temple was bustling with activity. As Anna knelt in prayer, she knew something extraordinary was happening.
With her eyes closed, she found herself distracted by the smell of animal sacrifice. (You would think she would be used to it by now, but even still, this unique aroma filled her nostrils.)
Suddenly, an inner knowing caused her to lift her eyes. Through the crowd, a small family was illuminated with a spiritual glow.
And in no time, Anna knew this was the child who would save the world.
What Anna Teaches Us About Being Faithful
Of all the faithful women in the Bible, only four prophetesses are mentioned in God’s word, and Anna was one of them.
Even though she was an elderly widow with assumingly no children, she left a legacy for generations and generations of women that we can hold to this advent season.
Anna devoted her life to serving God.
“She [Anna] was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” Luke 2:36b-37 NIV
Anna chose to serve God regardless of her age or circumstances. Anna could have chosen to remarry or return to a relative. Instead, Anna chose to spend her years praising and worshipping God in the temple.
Far along in life, Anna was married for only seven years and widowed until eighty-four.
And during that time, she never left the temple but spent all her time worshiping, praying, and fasting. What is most important, Anna was sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Those years of drawing near to God did not go unnoticed. Anna leaned into all God had for her. She was obedient to the call of God.
Anna is a beautiful example of a woman devoted to God regardless of her circumstances or position. Anna allowed nothing to hinder her desire to serve God.
Is there anything in your life hindering you from serving God?
This Advent season, would you devote time to prayer and worship, seeking God, drawing near to Him, and giving thanks to God?
Anna knew who she was – the daughter of the King.
Anna knew who she was and whose she was – a daughter of the King.
“There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher.” Luke 2:36a, NIV
Anna was born into the tribe of Asher. This clan was the smallest and considered the least significant of all Israel’s tribes. They were also believed to have deeper ties to the Gentiles than the rest of Israel.
This beloved widow was most likely unknown and overlooked. Yet, God chose her to herald the newborn Messiah.
It is stated Anna was elderly, widowed, and lived in the inner court of the temple, the women’s court. At the time, women were restricted from the Court of Israel, but this did not deter Anna from her desire to serve God.
The limits placed on Anna did not limit her love and praise for God. Anna knew who she was and stepped boldly into her calling.
God chose Anna to bear witness to the Messiah.
God knows our hearts and our intentions.
Even though the world may not see us, our Heavenly Father sure does!
What will you choose this Advent season? Will you choose obedience? When called, will you, like Anna, speak up and tell of the wonderous glory of God and rejoice in the birth of the Messiah?
There is no greater gift to receive.
The Greatest Gift
Do you long for uninterrupted time to worship and follow God? Ask Him in faith, and earnestly believe that He will provide.
God is always faithful to bless our lives when we live abundantly surrendered to Him. And Anna was no exception.
She was a woman of valor, strength, and resolve. And you, too, dear Daughter, can follow in Anna’s footsteps as you herald Christ in your own life.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
I pray you will devote your time to praising God and seeking Him this Advent season. May you truly know that you were created for such a time as this.
You are chosen.
You are loved.
You are a daughter of the King.