26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee calledNazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings,favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 36 And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and [z]she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For [aa]nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, the [ab]bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38) Read the whole chapter here.

Favor. Mary was just a human like you and I. She didn't have special powers or half god half human blood. She was just a normal girl, from a normal town, living a normal life.

She was just minding her own business.

But sometimes when we mind our own business while living for God, God decides to step in and show favor. Mary was even perplexed by the statement of the angel. She was trying to figure out why she was so favored. 

There is no magical formula to follow to get favor. There is no mathematical formula of traits that make a person more or less favored. Favor is unmerited and given graciously and freely by God. But there is a pattern that follows most, if not all, people that God highly favors. Not everyone that follows this pattern is favored, but most people that are favored have followed this pattern.

Prayer and righteous living. God favors those who are close to him, those that follow His Word. 

We don't pray and live righteously to be favored or blessed. That's not the point. The point is glorifying God. God favors those that pray and live righteously to the glory of God.

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