She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. Luke 2:37b
This statement about Anna has crossed my mind many times over the past several years. Since I suffer with fibromyalgia, there are times where all I can do is lie in bed and do nothing. My nerves can be so irritated that even simple, less active activities — watching TV, writing, texting, reading, etc. — just make the irritation worse, so I’m left with just lying there with the thoughts in my head. Sometimes these episodes can happen for multiple days thus making me feel utterly worthless in the work of God’s kingdom. Yet, it is in these moments that I remember Anna who served day and night with fastings and prayers.
When we are sincerely devoted to serving the Lord, we desire to be active in His work every day. Those who have a good measure of health may be able to do more hands on work, but it doesn’t mean that their service is more important than those that are less hands on. In fact, we need both and Anna, who is not indicated to be hindered by health, is an excellent demonstration of how diligently someone can commit themselves to continually honor and petition the almighty God.
I may not be able to get out and evangelize as I would like to, teach children’s bible classes, frequently encourage young women and the ailing, or write as my heart desires, but what I can do is learn to devote my time to fastings and prayers. As a woman who is blessed to be honored in scripture, Anna has helped me understand the significant work of serving God by calling out to Him in this way. And on those days I feel as though there’s nothing else I can do, I’ve learned that prayer is everything I can do!
My always present Father, no matter what my days entail, I can always devote myself to prayer as You are ever near to listen. Teach me to believe in the necessity and power of this most significant work in Your kingdom. Open my heart to be satisfied in the stillness and joy of communing with You in prayer. Help me to engage in the practice of fasting so as to bring about more spiritual intimacy with You. Thank you for always being there and giving me this avenue to serve You and others even in my most debilitating hours. Amen.
Truth in love,