Luke 2:36-38 – There 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, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming 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. (NIV)
In my church there are distinct divisions between young women, middle-aged women, and the seniors of the church. We have circles and classes to accommodate the various age groups. With the older group, the "seniors", we often hear the comment, "Our group is not physically able to do much." In some respects, that is true, but we often overlook Anna and her contributions at the temple. "She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying." What a powerful example for the "seniors" in our churches today! Anna was eighty-four, yet she fasted and prayed night and day.
Anna had married young and was widowed early. She had known sorrow, yet had not grown bitter. Her sorrow had caused her to grow deeper in faith and closer to God. Even though she was quite elderly, she had not ceased to pray or to hope. In the temple, she found the source of encouragement and strength in her life. When she saw the child, she praised God and declared that Jesus was the One Who would bring salvation to Israel.
What if the "seniors" in our churches today became prayer warriors — praying for each other, the church, and the kingdom of God, and offering hope to others? What a role this is: no physical strength is involved, age is not a factor, and anyone filled with the Holy Spirit qualifies!
Prayer: Lord, fill us with Your Spirit. Turn our hearts in Your direction. Let us be prayer warriors for You. Amen.