“Hannah got up and went to pray…Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord…As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking.” (1 Samuel 1:9-18)
Prayer is a part of my Christian walk that I have struggled with truthfully. Never having been truly taught to pray, I would imitate what I heard others pray and applied them to my prayers, but it never felt like it was my own. I have always craved an authentic prayer life that didn’t feel forced or not personal.
That was until I heard a lesson about Hannah…I remember a time studying her when I was praying for another child…I think a few of us have done the same. I even bought a little cross for my son’s nursery that said “for this child I prayed” (1 Samuel 1:20). But the journey to having my son was not that simple and it most certainly was not that easy. It was a challenge that was filled with two years of trying and two miscarriages.
Here is the part about Hannah that I missed…verse 10 says that Hannah was in anguish…she probably was doing what I like to call the “ugly cry.” You know the one, it’s uncontrollable and your face curls because the hurt is so deep there is no controlling what’s coming. She was a hurting woman. She was in so much anguish and praying so hard that Eli thought she had been drinking…Bless her. Have you ever prayed like that?
Have you ever fallen to your knees in prayer in anguish and cried out to God? Most often those prayers come when we are at the end of our own strength, but here is the thought I had, what if we prayed like that before we ran out of strength? You see our prayers don’t have to be pretty enough to hang out with the Psalms of David. Our words have no need of being manicured, edited, or even spelled correctly. But here is what they should be…honest, exactly how we truly feel, not sugar coated…and just down right real.
He is Yahweh, Abba, Alpha and Omega, He is the great I AM, Creator, Master, Redeemer, Father our greatest friend. Think about that coffee date you just had with your best girlfriend…you laid all that had been going on in your life out of the table for her, you spared no details and let her know exactly how you felt. That’s what prayer SHOULD be. God already knows what is happening in your life and yes He already knows how you feel about it but God wants us to bring it to Him, He wants us to lay it down before Him. He wants us to bring it to Him before we take it anywhere else.