I love the life of Hannah in the book of 1 Samuel chapter one. You can reference this in verses 1-19, with a title, “Hannah Pours Out Her Heart to God”, in The Message Translation. In this passage Elkanah has two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. This becomes a story of rivalry where Hannah has no children and Peninnah has many.
I believe Hannah has such an amazing story that so many of us can relate to. She has a prayer that all of us have prayed. For some this is a prayer that they know often which is called “the silent prayer.” That is the kind of prayer where there is such an anguish of soul that you really have no words to say but only a sound coming from you as a harmonious cry to God’s ears. It is the type of prayer where you think you are not even heard and that is why you are crying all the more. But I love how Hannah, this woman of God, makes such a decision for a turning point in her life.
This was the “one of two” type of situation for her. This was the “all or nothing” for her. This was the “ride or die” woman. She was the woman that had no fruit. She was the woman that wasn’t blessed yet! Have you ever been in a situation where you just didn’t get your blessing YET and had to celebrate with everyone else that had “IT”? Not only that but this woman had someone living right beside her to REMIND her that she didn’t have “IT” either. And this woman taunted her for years! Wow! Way to Go Peninnah right? Why don’t we just call her the “bad cheerleader”. The one always pointing out what you didn’t get, or where you didn’t go or what you did wrong. They always have something negative to say about you and literally have NO clue at what God is really doing in your life. But that is OK! Because God is the AUTHOR and the FINISHER and will DO all that He has promised over your life, the same way He did for Hannah will be the same way He will do for you.
How do we get to that turning point? You may think this is easier said than done but look at what Hannah does. Even after being reduced to tears, the scripture says in The Message translation that she pulled herself together, slipped away quietly and entered the sanctuary. Some of us need to get a hold of ourselves and just pull ourselves together! We have to slip away from the business of life, slip away from folks, slip away from work and just enter into the sanctuary with God! He is waiting for us, so what are we waiting for. That is the key – prayer. And when we don’t feel like He hears us, believe that He sees us and that is enough. We don’t always have to have the most eloquent or loudest prayer like others. Sometimes we kick ourselves and think we don’t even pray correctly. This even makes our prayer walk off balance because we allow the thoughts of the enemy to think we are ineffective. That is because the enemy knows HOW MUCH MORE the heart prayer is! Meaning that if God has got your heart –wow—then He has everything! Pray with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind and with all your strength even when you feel like there is none.
The end result here is that Hannah had a revelation. In that silent prayer of hers, she cried out and made a vow before God. She took it all to God in that moment. She said in her soul that she didn’t want to be the one with NONE anymore! She told God “If you quit neglecting me and go into action by giving me a son, I will give him right back to You!” Then this was sealed with the words of another when Eli the priest came in agreement with her. He said, “Go in peace and may the God of Israel give you what you have asked of him.” That’s all you really need is that one person to come in agreement with you. Find that one person—believe that there will be one and not the Peninnah to get in agreement with you. As the word says, “Where there are any two of you that agree on earth, there I am in the midst of you.” Matthew 18:20. Just know that the whole world isn’t bad. There are wholesome Christians out there that will help you along your walk. You are not alone. For the days that you find yourself there, take yourself in that silent prayer and see how God will answer you on that day with great peace just as He did with Hannah.
When we get to the end of the chapter we see that she joined with her husband and God began making the necessary arrangements in response to what she had asked for… So what does that tell you? Pull yourself together. Slip away in your prayer time. Enter the quiet and still place where God is and cry out to Him in your silent prayer, for He is a God that always responds, even when we don’t see it yet. Just know that every time you do, he is making the necessary arrangements in response to what you ask for. Isn’t that something to rejoice about!
I thought being happy was something that could not be found but so it is in Psalm 146:5 as it declares, “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God.” Hannah walked away on that day happy and radiant. She had put all her hope in God. For that was the turning point in her life. The bible says in the NIV version, “The Lord remembered her.” In the process of time, she conceived and bore a son, Samuel the prophet and not only that but God gave her 5 children all together. Rest assured God is remembering you as well. Just trust that the silent prayer works!
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