Mary’s Prayer of Thanksgiving*
Gabriel said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored” (Luke 1:28). Elizabeth said, “Blessed are you among women … blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished” (1:42, 45).
Highly favored. Blessed. Is that any way to describe a teenage virgin who has just been told she will bear a child?
And yet no words have ever been truer. Mary of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus, was highly favored. Mary of Nazareth, who carried the Son of God in her womb, was blessed.
The role God assigned to Mary was unique, but in other ways she was no different from you and me. By “highly favored,” Gabriel meant that Mary had been the recipient of God’s grace. She didn’t earn her position as the mother of Jesus any more than we earn our position as His brothers and sisters. And as Elizabeth observed in Luke 1:45, Mary was blessed because of her faith, which is a gift God offers to each of us (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Luke says that Mary’s first reaction to Gabriel’s announcement was fear (1:29-30). But through the power of the Holy Spirit, she overcame it. When she visited her cousin Elizabeth, Luke records Mary’s prayer of thanksgiving—a tribute to God’s grace, faithfulness and goodness (1:46-55). These ten verses reveal much about her confidence in God and the faith that sustained her during the most difficult and most amazing period of her young life.
Take an in-depth look at Mary’s prayer. Did you know she referenced many Old Testament verses in it? Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at seven psalms that are connected to her prayer. Each Old Testament truth she mentioned is equally relevant to us. As we immerse ourselves in her joy and faith, may our own joy and faith increase.
Here the devotions in this series: Mary’s Mindset, The God of Joy, The God of Mercy, The God of Mighty Deeds, The God Who Satisfies, The God Who Remembers
*NOTE: Mary’s prayer of thanksgiving is often called the Magnificat because the Latin translation of Luke 1:46 is Magnificat anima mea Dominum.