Who is that lady? She is always here. What is her name? Did you say Anna? The story begins…there was 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 worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Anna’s marriage lasted only seven years and sorrow visited her home, Anna’s husband died. All of her dreams of a family and children were suddenly gone. Her friends constantly tried to get her to date after her mourning period was over. But something was happening on the inside of Anna and she could not explain it. They did everything to get her to leave the temple but she refused. She herself did not quite understand it all. But she was yielding daily to this tug at her heart. Her husbands brothers were offended because the custom was that they would marry the widow and there by continuing the heritage of the brother. But Anna was refusing to marry again. The Lord would become her husband and provider. She felt that God had given her his best and she would go on with just those memories of him and their last dance. She gave her self to the Lord as his bondservant and continued to serve him in fasting, prayer and worship night and day. It seemed almost seamless as she entered into this covenant as an intercessor. In the house of God, they called her a prophetess. She was well-trained in the things of God and she could preach she had such understanding and insight into the things of God Her father Phanuel had noted it many times when she was growing up but hid the observation in his heart, because after all she was a girl. The other children would be playing she would be lingering by him as he studied the Torah, asking many questions, beyond her years. It was as though she understood the most profound things the Elders discussed.
Anna, remembered the words Jacob had spoken over her family and she cherished them. Asher’s food will be rich; he will provide delicacies fit for a king”. Anna, continued to dine on the richness of God’s table for many years after her husband passed. She had found refuge in his house of prayer and she gave herself to the ministry of the house in fasting, prayer and worship. Her vow as a Nazarite would be fully honored. He captivated her heart and it became all or nothing for her. There would be no compromise for her she was totally his to intercede on the behalf of the salvation of Israel. He (the Lord) needed a Gap Closer as some would say an intercessor who would not turn back from this call but would see it to the end. It would a life time commitment in the ministry of intercession.
Anna, would seek his face daily the one she had fallen so deeply in love with. She would sit for hours at his feet discovering the deepest communion with her Lord through prayer and fasting. Others were jealous, but they were not willing to spend the time. He taught her so many things during those times of prayer. He would share his intimate secrets with her at the altar and she would hide them deep into her heart until they would be fulfilled. He shared many secrets with her, even the coming of his eternal son. And the very day Mary and Joseph came to dedicate him she would be there on her watch in the temple to see what her eyes had so longed to glaze upon, “The Son of God.” It would be a day she would remember that her waiting had not been in vain. That day he had turned all of her earthly sorrow into unspeakable joy, because she waited.