Let Your Servant Go: Responding to God in Prayer
by Dr. Scott Powell
“Lord, now you let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.” – (Canticle of Simeon, Nunc Dimittis, Luke 2:29-32)
- The prayer that Zachariah said — the one that the angel Gabriel tells him has been answered, is a prayer that was asking God to come and intervene, and to save them — to lift them from the darkness. It wasn’t the prayer that he was saying to have a child, even though we can probably assume that was one of his heart’s desires. If we look at this situation, we learn from it that the most important prayer we say is one that asks for God to be more present in our life, and not necessarily for whatever else it is that we’re hoping for… How can you assess your prayers and perhaps change them to focus more on asking for God’s presence in your life, instead of the intention that is a desire of your heart?
- Zachariah responded to the angel skeptically when he told him that his prayers were answered. How would you have responded? Would you, today, have the faith to believe him if he told you this today?
- Simeon doesn’t have the gift of this angel in glory telling him the answer. Instead, he has the eyes of faith to see what is hidden. Are you a Zachariah or a Simeon?
- How can you develop the eyes of Simeon this Lent and throughout Easter? What can you do to work on seeing what may be hidden, on seeing God in your presence even when He doesn’t send you an angel?
Dr. Scott Powell is a teacher, theologian, author, and the director of the Aquinas Institute for Catholic Thought, an outreach to the University of Colorado in Boulder. Scott has spent the last decade speaking and teaching theology and the Scriptures to groups of all ages. He and his wife Annie are the founders of Camp Wojtyla, a Catholic adventure program for youth based in the Colorado Rockies. Scott also co-hosts and produces the popular Catholic podcast, “The Word on the Hill with the Lanky Guys,” and he has appeared in numerous Augustine Institute Studio productions, including Symbolon, Beloved, Reborn, YDisciple and the Opening the Word series. He has been featured on EWTN, Catholic Answers Live and numerous other Catholic outlets. He holds a PhD in Catholic studies from Maryvale Institute/Liverpool Hope University in England. Scott, his wife Annie and their three children — Lily Avila, Samuel Isaac and Evelyn Luca — live near Boulder, Colorado.