The DEEP

The Prophetess Anna Gets to See the Christ

Another example of a life that's both tough and blessed.

Luke 2:36-40 (ESV)

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.

Anna’s life story is important. She could have been a widow for 60 years. That sounds harsh, but life in the first century was like “Les Miserables” for many folks.

But she’s actually incredibly blessed. Being a prophetess means she has a direct channel to God, and now she has seen the Christ child. She gives a beautiful testimony to that.

And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

There’s not an ounce of self-pity anywhere in Anna. Others may see her as an object of pity but she’ll have none of it.

That’s why she did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.


Prophets don’t so much see the future as they see the truth. This enables them to ignore the silly things that we can’t ignore. They aren’t distracted from what’s really important by the things that scream at us all day.

This is why quiet times are called quiet times. You can’t get close to God while the phone’s ringing.

How can you make your quiet times holy to the Lord? Is there something you need to get rid of to make your quiet times more productive? Is the time right? The place? Are the electronic distractions as far away as they should be?

It’s important to be strategic about your time with the Lord. It should be a first fruit, not an afterthought. Spend some time meditating and praying about how to make your quiet time most productive.

Note: it’s OK to fall asleep during a quiet time. Not everyone has the time for that, but when you do this can be a blessing.

Some people fall asleep praying every night when they go to bed.


The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.