36 “There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at 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 was a prophetess from the tribe of Asher. Asher means “happy or blessed”. She was the very first woman to spiritually behold the incarnation of the living Christ when she prophesied over Jesus in the temple. She spent most of her time in the temple praying and worshiping God after her husband had passed away. It was thought that maybe her husband had been a prophet of God but that is not completely determined.
She never remarried after her husbands death and it is thought that she was most likely in her 100’s when she saw Jesus for the very first time. When her eyes beheld Him, she instantly knew she was looking upon her Savior. Her discernment was keen and her vision far surpassed physical vision. She “saw” things in the Spirit.
Where did this anointing come from? Back then, there was a physical temple, so Anna spent most of her time there before the face of God. She had relationship with her Father which translated into a prophetic gifting and discernment. Today, our “temple” is within us where Holy Spirit resides. When our hearts become saturated with the praise, worship, and prayer life that Anna had, we can be as discerning and gifted as she was as well. The Lord uses women and gifts them for His purposes!
To prophesy is to preach or to utter something that is unknown to make it known. It is a spiritual utterance that comes from spending time with our Savior. Revelations come from relationship with our heavenly Creator who gifts us through His Holy Spirit and through the life of Jesus Christ within us! The Apostle Paul had stated to the church that he wishes that everyone could prophesy even more than speak in tongues. To prophesy is to speak from the very heart of God. God’s Holy Spirit leads us into all mysteries, so it is completely possible to speak of things to come, of deep things that others might not see, or to have discernment that leads ourselves and others to victory in any situation.
Above all else, dear ones, ask for the gift of prophesy! Then don’t be afraid to receive it! God sees us all the same through Christ and we can be gifted for different purposes. Anna’s purpose was to proclaim the fulfillment of the first coming of the Messiah. God can equip us to proclaim the visions He has for this season and beyond! Another prayer of the Apostle Paul was that God would give the church “depth of insight”. This means to see into deep things, whether within another person, ourselves, or a situation.
All of this takes a relationship with our God through Christ.
Dear Lord, Baptize Your daughters with the power of the Holy Spirit. Gift each one with the Spirit of prophesy and use their gifts to glorify You! Empower women to be all You have called them to be and inspire each one to heal one another as they heal. Hold them in the palm of Your hands, Lord, and let their hearts soar with the completion of their earthly purpose and on into heavenly realms! In Jesus’ name. To God be the glory!
Pastor Jenine Marie Howry