You'll shoot Your Eye Out Kid!

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.

Luke 1:11-13 (NIV)

Christmas is definitely a time for prayer, Ask any kid. Every kid knows that to get what they really want, they're gonna need the Big Guy to step in and perform at least a couple low level miracles. In the classic movie, "A Christmas Story" young Ralpie has his heart set on a a specific BB gun. "I want a Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model BB gun with a compass in the stock." And to his dismay, it's almost always returned with the familiar refrain, "You'll shoot your eye out kid."

For many it's a familiar predicament. For many, our prayers make us feel like we're Ralphie and God is every, way too sensible adult, in the movie; like our ask is constantly being met with a divine "You'll shoot your eye out kid!"

Prayer can be tough one those endeavoring to follow Christ and vest their faith in Him. Many prayers seemingly go unanswered. In our more cynical and frustrated moments it can feel like they've really gone unnoticed. But Christmas tells us otherwise.

It must have seemed to Zechariah and Elizabeth that God had forgotten them, or at the very least said no to their desire for a child. They obviously wanted one because apparently they had prayed, or were praying for one. And yet they didn't have one. 

This passage of the Christmas Story tells us us a couple things so relieving to our faith. 1) Zechariah and Elizabeth wanted a child. 2) They didn't have one. 3) They were "righteous" and "blameless" in God's sight. 4) They were old. And 5) They were beyond their child bearing years.

And then something incredible happens. An angel shows up and says those mind blowing, faith changing, peace giving words: "Your prayer has been heard."

And that changes everything. For them and for us.

They get a child and we get answers to some oft wondered questions. 1) God knows what we want (even when He doesn't seem to be giving it to us). 2) No one gets what they want, whenever they want. 3) Not even the righteous. (Hey, it may not be you!). 4) Your prayers don't expire. Zechariah and Elizabeth were old! They were past their child bearing years, and they most likely weren't still praying for one. Yet their prayer was still answered. 5) There is never a time that God cannot answer your prayers, there is no limitation He cannot overcome. 

Christmas is a story of answered prayer; and not just those offered up some 2000 years ago. Christmas reminds us that God hears our prayers. That He's listening and they don't have an expiration date. That if God wants to give us something nothing can stop Him.

Christmas reminds us and challenges us: don't give up on your prayers; God hasn't.