Thursday, September 6, 2018

Hannah's Prayer: Outpouring of the Heart

Hannah felt like her heart was breaking. She had been married for quite a long time, but she still had no children. Her husband, Elkanah, loved her, but even that wasn't enough, especially since he had taken another wife in order to have an heir. Hannah just wanted a baby of her own, so she did the only thing she knew to do: she took her request to God.

But she did not present her prayer in any formal, stiff fashion. Instead, she wept and poured her whole heart out before the Lord, vowing that if He gave her her heart's desire, a male child, she would give him back to God. She would dedicate her son to His service for life. That, Hannah believed, was the greatest gift she could give both the child and God.

As Hannah continued to pray, her voice faded away. Her lips moved as her heart cried to God. Her whole body became wrapped up in her plea, so much so that to the priest Eli, she looked as though she'd had too much wine.

When Eli confronted her, Hannah was quick to explain. “No, my lord,” she respectfully assured the priest, “I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.”

Hannah gave her entire self to God in prayer, heart, soul, mind, spirit, thoughts, words, actions, everything, and she did so with complete trust that God would hear her and graciously grant her desire. Indeed He did. God remembered Hannah, just as she requested, and nine months later, she gave birth to a little boy, Samuel.

(1 Samuel 1, NRSV-CE)

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