A PRAYER THAT IS HEARD
Friday, 11 May 2018
1 Samuel 1 : 1-28
“Hannah was in deep anguish crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.” -1Samulel 1:10
We experience the inexpressible joy of answered prayer through the storms of life. Storms are not uncommon in a believer’s life— but it’s during these storms that we learn to pray through our disappointment and disillusionment until a breakthrough happens. In today’s reading we see Hannah in a similar situation. Barren and the laughing stock of Peninnah, the first wife of Elkanah, Hannah did not consider her husband’s regard for her greater than the storm she was facing.
This deep pain drove her into the presence of The One and Only who could bring: hope in her hopelessness, fruitfulness in her barrenness and answers to her prayers. Even as we read God’s Word this morning, may we understand that there is no set pattern or steps to prayer, because God hears the prayer of every sincere heart.
What do we learn from Hannah’s prayer life?
1. She Prayed in deep anguish and Crying – [vs 10] Sometimes all we can do is cry in our prayer time because of the deep sorrow and pain we are passing through. But our greatest assurance is found in Psalm 56:8 where the psalmist declares that God keeps a record of the number of tears we have shed and has also collected them because of His love for us. He has not overlooked our tears. Jesus when He was in the garden of Gethsemane experienced deep agony and pain as He prayed surrendering His will, knowing fully well that He was to be separated from His Father because of our sin. Luke records that in His anguish His sweat turned to blood. Did God overlook his Son’s pain? No, he sent an angel to strengthen Him so He could complete his mission on earth. In Hannah’s case, God spoke to her through Eli the High Priest; then her face was downcast no longer. (vs 18) Beloved, God knows your name, He hears you and your answer is on its way!
2. A Voiceless Prayer : In 1 Samuel 1:13 we read how Hannah spoke in her heart and only her lips moved. What did this portray? A woman who did not make a show of all that she was going through, who did not make a public declaration of the humiliation she faced in the hands of Peninnah, but rather took her sorrows to the One who could solve them. How often do we do this? Hannah poured out her soul before the Lord (Vs 15). Today you and I are so privileged to have the Holy Spirit living in us, to help us pray when words are not enough in our overwhelming grief. As Rom 8:26 [AMP] says “In the same way the Spirit[comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. When we do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, the Spirit Himself [ knows our need and at the right time ] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words."
May we constantly depend on the Holy Spirit to lead us in our prayer life—may we follow the example of Jesus who offered prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears while on this earth to the One who could save Him from death receiving His answers due to His reverent submission. [Heb 5:7 paraphrased]. May this be our standard as we take our requests to God.
Quote for the Day: “Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” ~Max Lucado
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