10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. 11 And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.
Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.
1 Samuel 1:10-11, 18 (NLT)
When I read about the anguish in Hannah’s heart, my own heart is pricked.
Do I Pray with Deep Anguish?
First, while I had a great desire to have children, I don’t know this kind of pain of waiting years to be blessed and seeing others around me having children when I did not, however, I do know about pain of a different kinds=. I have actual pain from my chronic illness, I have aching pain for family members that are far from God, I know the pain of rejection.
But I wonder at times if my pain has been deep enough for me to cry out to God in “deep anguish”. I wonder if I have ever fallen before God begging him to work in my life or in the lives of others. Do I fall prostrate before God, asking and fasting while I pray for Him to intervene?
When we say that we are praying for someone, do we really pray for them or do we just hope that things will get better for them? Do we actually take the time to stop and focus on God and ask Him to intervene? I have recently made an effort to always place the person’s name in my prayer journal app. (See Prayer Popper) I don’t say I will pray unless I place them in this journal. This brings them to my mind occasionally and I do lift them up in prayer for a moment. But I still wonder if I am praying or just wishing and wanting. Do I get serious about intercession?
Secondly, Do I Believe God will Answer?
After Eli blessed her and asked God to grant her request she “went and ate with her family and was no longer sad.” She accepted with confidence that God would now answer her prayers. She was no longer distraught over her situation. She left it in God’s hands.
When we are distraught over our situation, do we take it and lay our concern on the altar and then go away “no longer sad”? Or do we pick up our concerns and take them with us?
Are we content to trust Him no matter what His answer may be?
Hannah was able to leave her request at the altar. She went home and was happy. She had not received her heart’s desire yet but she now found joy in her God. Her faith held her up.
Our hope should be in God not in our desires.
Are we devoted to God regardless of whether God has met those desires? Are we willing to give back to God the very things for which we are praying?
I challenge you to lay your burdens on the altar of God and leave them there. Remember, he promises to give rest to our souls if we bring them to Him and let Him do the work.
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Writer/Speaker sharing about how to make it through anything. I married a pastor with two boys who just lost their mom, I homeschooled my own children, led children’s ministries and women’s ministries in the church, and founded and led a homeschool support group. Had to give up much of this due to chronic pain. Like the Insurance, I know a lot because I’ve seen a lot.