Hannah Part 1: Praying Regardless Of How We Feel

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I need to be a mom that prays, not just for my boys’, but for my own sanity!  To be a caffeinated, praying mom — that’s my goal.  So, let’s look at a Biblical mom for an idea of what a praying mom can look like.

Hannah was part of a devout but divided family. Guess that’s what happens when a guy has two wives. Hannah was probably the first wife but she couldn’t have children so hubby Elkanah married Peninnah, who did indeed have children. But Elkanah loved Hannah so much he would give her double portions. And being the sweet second wife that she was, Peninnah would provoke her “rival” to irritate Hannah. Year after year.

These two sides of the family would go to Shiloh together to worship God and bring their sacrifices each year.  And every year, Peninnah was up to her usual self, provoking Hannah until she wept and wouldn’t eat.

“Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?,” Elkanah asked. (1 Samuel 1: 8) I know he loved Hannah and was trying to get her out of the dumps, but dude, not helpful!

After the family finishes eating, Hannah gets up and decides it’s time to pray. Really pray. “In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord. And she made a vow, saying, ‘O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life” (1 Samuel 1: 10,11.)

I love this. Hannah didn’t wait to pray until she felt better. She didn’t wait until she felt like it, she prayed in the midst of her bitterness. I love the raw honesty of this woman. She was fed up and she was miserable.  But even though she felt miserable, she didn’t let it overtake her, instead she recognized it and prayed weeping to the Lord, pleading with him.  I think sometimes when we feel angry, bitter, and sullen instead of choosing to recognize it and pray through it, we try to wait until we’re “better” before talking to our Heavenly Father because somehow we don’t think we should have those feelings when praying.

Hannah shows us something different. The bitterness and rejection she’s feeling is a signal that it’s the exact moment she needs to take her hurt to the Lord. She knows there’s only one source that gives peace when your heart is hurting. And she heads straight to that source for a chat.  I’m thankful that we don’t need to wait until we are feeling good before we can talk to our Father. And I’m thankful we can bring our troubles to Him because He cares for us.  How are you feeling today?  No matter how good or bad you may be feeling, have you gone to the Lord in prayer?

(1 Samuel 1)

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