(photo source: Google images)
It’s good for us to study closely the prayers offered by the men and women of the Bible. If we learn how they approached and talked to God and how their prayers were honored, accepted, and answered by Him, we can learn to do the same in our own relationship with God.
The Prayer of Hannah (1 Samuel 1, 2:1-10)
Hannah was one of Elkanah’s two wives. Although Elkanah loved her much more than he did Peninnah, his other wife, nothing could cheer up her sorrowful heart. Why? Because Peninnah had many children while she, Hannah, was barren. Peninnah delighted in mocking Hannah about her barrenness and it pierced Hannah’s heart every time she did it.
We can imagine Hanna’s sorrow. She might have felt greatly insecure with her husband, envious of Peninnah, and might have deeply longed to hold her very own baby in her arms. But in her heart-wrenching situation, Hannah never contended with her husband nor with Peninnah.
Hannah, instead, ran to God. On her knees, she poured out her soul to Him.
These are the gems that we could pick up from Hannah’s approach to God:
God, the Comforter of the Brokenhearted
Just what Hannah did, we can bring our broken hearts to God. Hannah didn’t think that Elkanah her husband could soothe her sorrow. She didn’t believe either that fighting back Peninnah would bring her joy and satisfaction. But she believed with all her heart that God could take up her case: He could soothe her sorrowing heart like no one could, and He could give her her heart’s desire.
… a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51:17); The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart… (Psalm 34:18)
When we bring our broken hearts to God, He is more than delighted to heal them. Actually, a broken heart brings us closer to God. In my own experience, when I’m hurting, it’s always easy to feel the comfort and nearness of God, especially when I begin to sing praises to Him.
Pour Your Heart Out to God
Just what Hannah did, we could pour out all the bitterness of our hearts and souls to God, leaving nothing behind. We should believe and trust with all our hearts that He listens to our earnest prayers.
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. (Psalm 62:8)
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26)
Make a Vow
Because of her desperate need, Hannah made a vow to God: if God gives her a child, a son, she will lend him to the Lord all the days of his life. In our most desperate situations, when there’s a great need to move the hand of God, just like Hannah did, we could make a vow. But it’s important that we honor our vows just like Hannah had done, when we have received the answer to our prayer.
Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High. (Psalm 50:14)
God listened to Hannah’s prayer and answered it beyond her expectations. He gave her a son, which she lent to the Lord as she had vowed, and God blessed her with more children.