“There was a prophetess, Anna, from the family of Phanuel in the tribe of Asher. Anna was very old. She had once been married for seven years. Then her husband died, and she was a widow for eighty-four years. Anna never left the Temple but worshiped God, going without food and praying day and night. Standing there at that time she thanked God and spoke about Jesus to all who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem.” Luke 2:36-38
Anna, our final “Little Women of Christmas.” Three verses is all we get to truly glean a picture of our precious Anna, but these three verses is all I need to fall in love with this Mighty Woman of God. My role model.
Let’s look at how Anna lived her life. The first description that is given of our “little miss”…
She was a prophetess. She held an office among the body of those who were looking and waiting for the Messiah. Luke was stating a fact in verse 36. Anna had a gift of communicating and enforcing the Truth of God that He revealed to her. Everyone in the temple knew this about her. Throughout her life, things she spoke about God, and things she she claimed He revealed to her, came true. The truth of her spoken words were validated by the fruit they produced. Luke did his investigating. These were what people knew to be true about Anna. So that is her first characteristic we read about her.
Next we read she was Phanuel’s daughter. I love that Luke included these five words, “she was the daughter of Phanuel.” We are coming up on the one year anniversary of my dad’s death. I am the daughter of James Guy, and I say that with great pride! Anna’s dad was a man named Phanuel. The Hebrew word for Phanuel is Penuel. Penuel means “face of God.” In Genesis 32, Jacob wrestled with a Mighty Presence who told him, “And He said, ‘You shall not be called Jacob any longer, you name shall be Israel for you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.'” Genesis 32:38. Jacob then called the place “Penuel” for he said, “I have seen God face to face.” So, Anna’s dad’s name was, when translated, “face of God.” Even her own name “Anna,” in Hebrew is the name Hannah which means “grace, favor”. She was named after the mother of a mighty man of God – Samuel. In some ways Anna parallels the boy Samuel. Samuel also remained in the temple communing with God. Anna for may years worshiped God night and day fasting and praying. She is the very pillar of a Prayer Warrior.
She is from the tribe of Asher. Asher is the last of the tribes mentioned in the Blessing of Moses in Deut 33:24-25. This tribe was named after Asher the son of Jacob. The name Asher means “good Fortune” When Leah, Asher’s mother, named him she said, “Fortunate am I! For women shall count me fortunate!” Again I love that Anna came from the tribe of Asher. My grandson’s name is Asher. Nikki knew it meant blessing and our Asher is truly a blessing to us. But all these things were not what gave Anna her spiritual DNA. Her sensitivity to the Holy Spirit of God, her ability to communicate deep spiritual truths from God, came because of her close communion to the living God. Again, just like Samuel, she spent every single day of 84 years, that is 30,660 days that she spent never leaving the temple exclosure. For 30,660 days she worshipped God night and day. She practiced a spiritual discipline of fasting and praying everyday. Now obviously she did not go without food for 30,660 days, but at some point during her day everyday for 30,660 days she would put away a time of eating so she could more closely commune with God. What a woman! A few years ago, I went through a season of panic. Especially after each of my children got married off. “What am I going to do with myself? What is my purpose in life now that all my energy isn’t spent on getting these children raised?” Ever thought that to yourself? What is my purpose? Some of the translations say of Anna, “she was aged,” or “she was very old.” My lesson from Anna… “You can never be too old to serve God.” She served God in the temple for 30,660 day by worshipping Him. I can do that! She served God by studying about Him. I can do that! She served God by communicating the truths He revealed to her. I can do that! She served God by fasting and praying. I can do that! She must have had a “War Room.” Wonder if she saw the movie? Or… Was the principal of the movie gleaned from Anna’s life?
“I can’t do everything but a I can do something.” This is a principle I learned from the Propel Women’s Conference. I am not Beth Moore. I am not Christine Caine. I am not Lysa Turkehurst. I am not a nationally known writer and speaker for the kingdom of God. I am Kellye Jones, daughter of James and Peggy Guy, wife of Kevin Jones, mother of Nikki, Magen and Landry, mother-in-law to Adam, Brandon, and Whitney, grandmother of Asher and Lucas and little baby Jones in May of 2016, that is who I am. My sphere of influence may be small, but it is my domain and responsibility to be their prayer warrior. I am also a Daughter and Princess of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Until the day the Lord takes me home, I can do what Anna did. I can serve the Lord through worship, prayer and fasting for all those God puts in my circle of responsibility. I can’t do everything but I can do that!