(1 Samuel 1:12-20 NLT) 12 As she was praying to the LORD, Eli watched her. 13 Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. 14 “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” 15 “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the LORD. 16 Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” 17 “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.” 18 “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad. 19 The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the LORD once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the LORD remembered her plea, 20 and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the LORD for him.”
Interesting title, huh? Hannah and her family had taken their annual trip to Shiloh with a heavy heart in tow. Hannah was bearing the pain of being childless, while simultaneously dealing with the constant badgering from her husband’s second wife. (Yes, I said second wife!) You see, Peninnah had children, and took every opportunity to rub Hannah’s barrenness in her face.
While in Shiloh, Hannah visited the House of the Lord to pray. Because of the great emotion she was feeling, the Priest, Eli, thought she must have been in a state of drunkenness. In fairness to Eli, drunk people frequented the steps of the temple on a regular basis. And, we are told, “Seeing her lips were moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking.”
He encouraged her to pour out her wine! However, Hannah made it clear that she was not drinking anything, but was instead, pouring out her soul unto the Lord. Her cries were controlled enough to be silent, but deep enough to be effective. She continued to pour out her soul until she received the desired release.
Have you ever been so burdened that it effected you in every possible way? I’m reminded of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is reported that He prayed with such heaviness that His sweat became as drops of blood. There is a level of discouragement that touches the depths of the soul. Hannah told Eli, “I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”
We see this expressed in the New Testament as well. Paul writes, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” (Romans 8:26-27 NLT)
What burden are you carrying? Has it impacted every fiber of your being? If so, I have good news for you! He hears, and will respond to you at just the right time. Hannah prayed until she was confident God had heard. We are told that she went back to where they were staying and ate because she was no longer sad. Before they left the next day, she returned to “pour another” time of worship to the Lord!
God may not always answer with the exact thing you ask for. But, sometimes He does! For Hannah, her prayer was answered and she was given a son. “She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the LORD for him.”
And now you know the rest of the story!
PRAYER: Receive my praise today as I pour it out upon You. You deserve it! Thank you for Your kind and appropriate response to the burdens I have carried. I release them now into Your hands, and I rest in the peace of knowing that You are in control. Amen.