Scripture Reading: I Samuel 1:9-18
“She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.” (I Samuel 1:10)
Hannah was in deep distress. She was childless and she desperately wanted to bear a son. And she was abused. Her sister, Peninnah, provoked her grievously and sought to irritate her because she was childless (v. 6). Hannah would weep often and would not eat (v. 7). Though her husband loved her greatly, she was still sad and distressed.
On one of the family trips to Shiloh when Elkanah went to worship and offer sacrifices, Hannah went to the temple to pray. She made a vow to the Lord — “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your servant and remember me and not forget Your servant; but will give to Your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head” (v. 11).
Hannah was praying from her heart with only her lips moving (v. 12). Eli, the priest, thought she was drunk. He confronted her and Hannah replied — “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord” (v. 15). Hannah’s prayer was from the heart and it was fervent.
When we are distressed and full of anxiety, the first place we should go is to the Lord. We are to pray from our hearts, pouring out our souls before Him. When we pray we tap into the infinite resources of God. When we are in His presence we can find peace and joy, even in the midst of our troubles.
These words from I Peter have helped me so many times when I was in distress — “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you” (I Peter 5:6,7). We may not always understand why we are facing troubles and we may not like it, but we know that the Lord is in charge and He cares for us.
Lord Jesus, You have invited us to come to You when we are weary and heavy-laden. I pray that I will humble myself under Your mighty hand. I know You are sovereign and have a purpose for everything that happens in my life. And I also know that You care for me and will do what is best for me.
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