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Prophetess Anna : Fulfilling God's Purpose In Old Age

Updated on January 3, 2011

Prophetess Anna : Fulfilling God’s Purpose in Old Age

“There was also 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 she was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thank to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”

Luke 2:36 - 38


When you are already in your old age , in your seventies or in your eighties or even nineties will you still find purpose in life ?

Many people in their old age are losing their vigor and zest for life. They live life without usefulness and purpose, just wasting their life away until their death. Many of them just live idle lives spending all their hours in front of television viewing programs that will never bring them any inch closer to God . But this is not what God intended for us to live out our old age. Our old age could still be a life of great purpose and meaning if we are living in the center of God’s will.

In our passage today, we look up to our role model, the prophetess Anna. Anna is a woman who married in her earlier years only to become a widow. When her marriage was just blossoming, her husband died and never remarried again. Now at the timing of this passage she was already eighty-four, far advanced in years. Anna now is a widow and elderly. Instead of seeking comfort in the world for all the pains she experienced in life particularly the untimely death of her husband, Anna sought refuge and comfort in the loving arms and presence of God. At 84, Anna’s life is not futile for she lived it in complete devotion to God, She lived a life of worship, prayer and witness. According to the passage , she never left the temple but worshipped God night and day fasting and praying.

Usually people in old age will just spend most of their time in front of television particularly here in the Philippines where there is a proliferation of telenovelas . They never give time to enrich and deepen their relationship with God. They will never give time to meditation of God’s Word and prayer. They will rather be entertained by the world rather than experience the presence of God..

But prophetess Anna gave all her time to God spending it daily in His presence. She loves to worship God daily and don’t mind giving all her time to prayer and fasting. And when she met the baby Jesus in the temple, she became God’s ardent witness to all people regarding the truth about the Christ child. Worshipping God, praying and fasting, witnessing to the lost world about Christ, that’s how Anna spent her old age, which I believe the best way we could spend our old age, rather than giving time to wordly and ungodly activities.

Yes, we could still live a life of great purpose in our old age if we commit our time to the Lord. I could think of Mrs. Ortile , an elderly lady in our church who is already in her late eighties. Mrs. Ortile at age 89, still sing for the Lord and even do visitation. She is still active in her group known as the “Joy Ladies.” This group is a group of elderly ladies in our church. This group of elderly ladies are still active in prayer activities of our church inspite of their physical discomforts and infirmities. They still sing during special number in the church worship service and even do visitation. Whenever I think of them, I could look forward to “glory days” in old age.

Aging is inevitable. Unfortunately society has taught us to fear advancing age and to disguise its reality as much as possible. But aging can actually be a wonderful thing if it is lived for God’s glory. Followers of JesusChrist have the capacity to get significantly better with age as Apostle Paul put it : “Even though our outward man is perishing yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. “ 2 Corinthians 4:16

Never say that you are too old to do God’s work, as long as you have breath you can still do great things for God. If you are not strong enough to do evangelism, at least you can pray. You can still have a wonderful prayer ministry in your old age. The world still need much prayer warriors and the ministry of intercession is a very high calling. You can still do spiritual warfare in old age through your prayers. You can still tear down strongholds in your old age through your warfare praying.

Truly prophetess Anna fulfilled God’s great purposes for her life in her old age, because she lived a life spent in devotion and great glory for God. Though the world may look at it as not the best way to spend old age, but truly it is a kind of life that brings true happiness, serenity and glory to one’s soul.

l.

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    • cristina327 profile image
      Author

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 7 years ago from Manila

      Thank you for taking time to read this hub. Your comment is an encouragement to me. Yes I agree each day that passes by we should be more passionate about our christian walk. Blessings and regards to you.

    • steven oliver profile image

      steven oliver 7 years ago from North Carolina

      really powerful! The Christian life should forever get sweeter every day... not just up to retirement age!!! love this hub - it's the 2nd one of yours I've read.

    • cristina327 profile image
      Author

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 7 years ago from Manila

      Hi brother matt6v33 thank you for dropping by. Your comment indeed is a great source of encouragement to me. Happy New Yaer too ! May you have a much blessed 2011. Hope the best for you to come in 2011. Thank you for appreciating this hub. Remain blessed always and regards.

    • matt6v33 profile image

      matt6v33 7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      hello young lady,

      Happy New Years to you!

      This is a wonderful "Food For Thought" wow!

      Love your heart!

      Keep going my dear, keep writting, for many out there, truly need you, and thus u will continue to be pleasing to Him!

    • cristina327 profile image
      Author

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 7 years ago from Manila

      HI CarolineVABC it is great to hear from you. It is very encouraging to read your comments. Thank you for dropping by and appreciating this hub. Your visit and comments are much appreciated. I also appreciate your additional inputs. they are indeed words of wisdom. Truly as we age, we should continue to be active in endeavours that will bless mankind. We should never waste away our old age by engaging in fruitless activities. Instead we should continually think of ways that could bring greater glory to God and greater service to our fellowmen. REmain blessed always and regards.

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 7 years ago from Castaic

      "Never say that you are too old to do God’s work, as long as you have breath you can still do great things for God."

      Dear Cristina,

      Thank you for such an amazing hub regarding serving Christ in our ripen age-wonderful job!!! It is so true, we see so many elderly people just wasting away and having meaningless lives. Many people think that when we reach our later years, it is time to "retire" from everything, so while we are young we need to be active, which is partly true -while we are still young and energetic, we need to do everything we can. On the other hand, when we reach our later years, the more we need to be active, so our minds do not go to waste, which is one cause of Alzheimer's disease. Also, the healthiest elderly people are the one who reamined active such as doing volunteer work or who are engaged in special projects. I definitely enjoyed reading your hub and I do agree with you that we are never too old to do God's work. God uses young, old and everyone in between to do His work. Thank you for sharing such a thought-provoking hub. Keep at it. God bless!

    • cristina327 profile image
      Author

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 7 years ago from Manila

      Hi lifegate it is great to hear from you again. Thank you for visiting and appreciating this hub. I am glad that you loved this hub and find it challenging. Your comment is a great encouragement to me. Blessings and regards.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 7 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Cristina,

      What a different approach to the passage. Loved it and challenging! Thanks.

    • cristina327 profile image
      Author

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 7 years ago from Manila

      Hi DeBorrah K. Ogans it is great to hear from you again. I am greatly encouraged by your comment. Thank you for visiting and appreciating this hub. Truly as we get older we should stay closer to God. The best way to spend old age is to live in constant presence of God so that we will gain serenity in living. Remain blessed always and regars.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 7 years ago

      Cristina, BEAUTIFUL! This is inspiring and so "POINT ON!" Wonderful encouraging illustration showcasing Anna! Moses was eighty when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt...

      We are without excuse and as we get older we should do so graciously growing closer to the LORD... As believers our walk with the Lord should become stronger and the FRUIT of His Spirit should continue to grow and flourish in our lives...

      As you so wonderfully stated: "Never say that you are too old to do God’s work, as long as you have breath you can still do great things for God. If you are not strong enough to do evangelism, at least you can pray. You can still have a wonderful prayer ministry in your old age. The world still need much prayer warriors and the ministry of intercession is a very high calling. You can still do spiritual warfare in old age through your prayers. You can still tear down strongholds in your old age through your warfare praying." AMEN! & AMEN!! WONDERFUL MESSAGE!

      Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

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