Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:9-4:11
"Hannah was deep in anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the LORD." (1 Samuel 1:10 NLT)
Hannah poured her heart out to the Lord and pleaded for Him to fulfill her deepest longing—to conceive and give birth to a male child. As a woman who has also cried out to the Lord to become pregnant, I was moved by both Hannah’s prayers. In 1 Samuel 1, this mother-to-be prayed from a bitter heart. In chapter two, she prayed from a better heart.
For years, Hannah had endured merciless teasing from Peninnah. The constant ridicule over her barrenness fed her soul the bitter pill of anguish. Even still, Hannah prayed through her angst. She had to pray.
Have you ever been so distraught that you lost your appetite and couldn’t even think about food? Nothing could console you, except one thing: the Lord. One day, in desperation, Hannah got up from her meal before she was finished eating to pray. Her time of pouring her heart out to the Lord and listening for His voice relieved her soul and spirit. Then she felt able to go back to the table and finish her meal. The best part? Her sadness had dissipated.
Hannah, broken and humbled before the Lord, knew the only way to wholeness was to lay her burden before the Lord.
Have you ever just had to pray? Our heavenly Father loves us and longs to heal our hurt. We can leave our broken and barren dreams at His feet and trust Him to bring purpose from our pain. Our prayers may start from a heart of bitterness, but let’s allow God to turn the bitter into better.