Have you ever wept bitterly? Your whole world falls apart and all you can do is pour out your anguish and sob your heart out.
I wept bitterly when we moved to the States from loneliness and missing my home.
I wept bitterly with the shock of a cancer diagnosis.
I wept bitterly when my child was taken seriously ill and I didn’t know what the outcome would be.
And often in those times, it’s not just the issue we face that is overwhelming, but other concerns and doubts rise to the surface and we cry about those, too.
We can learn a lot about what to do in these situations from our bold girl, Hannah. Scripture tells us she wept bitterly—all the stress, all the pain, all the anguish of Peninnah being mean to her came pouring out
Yet, Hannah also prayed, too.
When it got too much, she went to the temple and there she wept and prayed.
I’m sure everything else came tumbling out: “God, why won’t you allow me to get pregnant? Why does Peninnah have babies and I don’t? She’s not even dedicated to you, Lord. I have being obedient to you and followed you faithfully but I feel like you don’t love me. Have I done wrong to deserve this?”
Hannah kept on praying. It’s a lesson to us—we must keep coming back to prayer when we need relief in a situation.
Hannah also prayed in her heart. This must have been more than praying silently. She poured out her soul to the Lord.
She didn’t use fancy words, she was letting it all out.
In fact, Eli, the priest thought she was drunk.
You’ve no doubt seen or heard a drunk person. They stagger and sway. They struggle to keep their balance and they are loud.
Hannah wasn’t keeping herself under control. She didn’t just have tears trickling from the corners of her eyes, while her mouth moved silently She was wailing and swayed in her grief.
Hannah didn’t look respectable. However, if we’re concerned Hannah was being disrespectful to God, let’s look at her reply to Eli:
She said: Do not take your servant for a wicked woman.
The term for “wicked woman” here is daughter of Belial, a phrase suggesting: one who failed to give due respect to God. Hannah is saying: I am not failing in my respect to God.
Instead, we see reverence in her vow:
Lord—Eli just refers to God as the God of Israel but Hannah called him Lord—Lord of her life, Lord of her situation, and Lord of her barrenness. No matter how she cried, she does it with respect for who God is.
Almighty—Hannah recognized it is God who had complete power in her situation. That’s why she came to him and poured out her heart.
if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son—Hannah called herself a servant—twice. Her words imply humility before God. He doesn’t have to do what she wants but she’s being humble in her asking.
Hannah felt so much better for pouring out her soul to God–Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.
Prayer makes a difference to our lives. Perhaps Hannah couldn’t smile yet, but the anguish had left her.
Philippians 4:6-7 says:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Passionate prayer and peace come hand in hand.
We see Hannah putting this kind of praying into action AND we see the result. Heart talk brings peace beyond understanding.
Perhaps you have had a hard day or a hard week and life is getting you down. You can weep bitterly to God, just like Hannah so peace comes.
What do you need to pour out to God?
 Robert D. Bergen, 1, 2 Samuel, vol. 7, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 70.
Linking up with Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup and Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart
Thank you so much Rachel. We have only just finished reading the story of Hannah with our children. It’s passages like this that remind us that God hears and answers prayer. A great encouragement. Thank you.
That’s wonderful that you have been reading scripture with your children. I wish I had done that more.
I love this, Rachel … especially “Heart talk brings peace beyond understanding.” When we bring our hearts … all of them to our great God … He does give peace.
Thanks Dianne. We have a good God who promises us peace.