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Anna – A Prophetess in the Temple

Luke 2:36-38 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Anna Of Asher: A Prophetess In The Temple

Anna, a remarkable woman from the tribe of Asher, emerges from the pages of the Gospel of Luke as a pious prophetess. Her story is brief but profound, and her encounter with the infant Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem holds valuable lessons for us today.

Who Was Anna?

Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, belonged to the tribe of Asher—a tribe associated with happiness and blessing. She lived a life marked by devotion and faithfulness. Let’s explore her character and significance:

Devotion and Faithfulness

Anna was married for seven years until her husband passed away. After his death, she chose a life of dedication to God, remaining unmarried and committing herself to fasting and prayer.

Her unwavering commitment to worshiping in the Temple, day and night, exemplifies her deep faith and love for God.

Prophetess and Witness

Anna is the New Testament’s only named female prophetess. Her title reflects her spiritual insight and ability to discern God’s voice.

When Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus arrived at the Temple for purification, Anna was there. Her presence was not coincidental; it was divinely orchestrated.

While Simeon, another witness, speaks of Jesus’ broader significance for all people (Gentiles and Israel), Anna’s focus is specific: she evangelizes to those “looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38).

The Silent Encounter

Luke’s account of Anna’s encounter with Jesus is intentionally sparse. Unlike Simeon, whose detailed encounter with the Christ child is described, Anna receives only three verses (Luke 2:36–38). The silence surrounding their meeting invites us to engage our imagination and meditate on the events.

Faithfulness: Anna’s unwavering commitment to God teaches us the value of steadfast devotion. Lord, help us remain steadfast in our devotion to You. Whether in times of joy or sorrow, may we choose faithfulness over fleeting desires. Like Anna, may we find our purpose in serving You wholeheartedly, regardless of our circumstances.

Sensitivity to God’s Timing: Anna’s presence at the right moment reveals God’s orchestration of events. Father, open our eyes to divine appointments. Just as Anna recognized the Messiah in the infant Jesus, may we discern Your work in our lives. Teach us to wait patiently, knowing that Your timing is perfect.

Lifting Burdens To The LORD: For those who are grieving, grant them comfort and hope. For those seeking answers, provide wisdom and clarity. For those longing for redemption, reveal Your grace and salvation.

Looking To The Holy Spirit:  Illuminate our paths with Your truth. Stir our hearts to pray without ceasing. Help us recognize the sacred moments You orchestrate.

Reflective Questions

  1. How can we cultivate a deeper life of devotion and prayer, regardless of our circumstances?
  2. Are we attentive to God’s timing and open to divine encounters?

Moral Takeaway

Anna’s life reminds us -that faithfulness and sensitivity to God’s leading are timeless virtues. As Christians today, let us emulate her unwavering commitment and recognize the sacred moments God places before us.

Meditative Thoughts

Imagine Anna’s joy as she held the infant Jesus. What emotions stirred within her? Consider the significance of being present at pivotal moments in God’s redemptive plan.

May Anna’s example inspire us to seek God diligently, recognize His work, and faithfully share the good news of Jesus Christ with those around us.

“Dear Heavenly Father, we come before You, just as Anna did in the Temple, seeking Your presence and guidance. We thank You for the example of this faithful prophetess—a woman who dedicated her life to worship, prayer, and waiting upon You. As we meditate on Anna’s unwavering commitment, we ask for the grace to emulate her virtues, today and always, in Jesus’ name, Amen.”


C D SWANSON is an Author of 22 plus books, freelance writer, contributor to various websites, including The Bottom Line Ministries/Faith News. She's an active member of Faithwriters- and has her online website/ministry for over 15 years. It is her greatest joy to write what’s in her heart, and thus her favorite form of expression is in her devotionals. She and her husband share a deep love of God and dote on their fur baby Mickey. Retired Director from Long Term Healthcare Industry, she continues to be an advocate for many. To check out other writings of this author you can go here:

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  1. Jennifer Woodley

    That we would yield ourselves to the LORD just as Anna did and thus be open and ready to receive divine encounters. Thank you Camille.

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