But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.
- Luke 1:8-15
The angel tells Zechariah that his prayer has been heard. We haven't been told what Zechariah was praying for, but now we know. He was praying for Israel, of course, as a Jewish priest would do. But he also was praying for a child.
Sometimes we're afraid to pray for things that seem unrealistic.
Three times in the birth story we'll hear angels say, "Do not be afraid" - to Zechariah here, to Mary at the Annunciation, and to the shepherds in the field. And Jesus, in his public life, will say these same words five times.
Anything in particular you'd really like to pray for?
"Do not be afraid."
- Little Blue Book, Diocese of Saginaw