He forgot the prayers he and his wife had prayed.
"And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth… And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years" (Luke 1:12-14; 18).
"Thy prayer is heard." In younger days, Elizabeth's barrenness led she and Zacharias to seek God for His provision of a child. Time passed, however. Zacharias and Elizabeth became "well stricken in years." Prayers were forgotten. Hope waned. Not until the angel Gabriel appeared with the pronouncement of the Lord's answer did Zacharias likely recall times in the temple, and times whenever and wherever of seeking the Lord's miracle.
God had not forgotten, however. He simply waited to answer until the time was right. We do well to remember that prayers we do not remember praying may well remain fresh before the throne of the eternal God. Most of us don't record all our pleas to Heaven. Thus, we forget many and perhaps even most of them. The Lord may nevertheless answer those forgotten pleas, often in ways we won't even see (or that may happen after our physical passing from this world). Our forgetfulness does not interfere with His faithfulness. He understands our human weakness, especially regarding prayer, and thus often works to prepare and provide His answer long after we do not remember making the request. "He remembered His holy promise" (Psalm 105:42).
If we have known the Lord for awhile, countless prayers offered have doubtless passed from the bank of our memories. Not from His though. He recalls them all just as if we were uttering them in this moment. Long ago, a godly man and woman sought their Lord amid the heartbreak of an empty womb. Their prayers dissolved with age and lost prospects of hope. The same prayers, however, echoed in the ears of their Father until His purposes allowed Him to send Gabriel to herald the answer. The birth of John the Baptist followed, along with his parents' overwhelmed rejoicing in the God who hears the prayers of His children - and doesn't forget them. Perhaps we also have prayed some prayers forgotten by us. Surely we have. Just as surely, our Father has not. We do well to remember that.
"Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord."
Weekly Memory Verse
Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord."