God’s Public Answer To Hannah’s Private Prayer

1 Samuel 1:10, 13, 17

And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.  

Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.  

Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of Him.

The book of 1 Samuel opens with the introduction of Elkanah, and his two wives, Penninah and Hannah.  Penninah had given Elkanah children, but Hannah could not.  Elkanah made his annual trip to Shiloh to worship and make sacrifices to the LORD.  He was a faithful man of God.  He loved Hannah dearly, and his heart was near to her because she was barren.  Elkanah was a sensitive man…

Penninah was mean-spirited and proud.  She mocked Hannah for being barren.  This hurt Hannah’s feelings badly.  She cried and had no appetite.  Elkanah did all he could to make up for her barrenness.  Nothing can take the place of a child in a barren woman’s arms.

So, Hannah prayed.  She had a deep longing in her heart.  She knew that only God could fix the longing in her heart.  The Bible says “…she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.”  

As Hannah prayed, not with glamorous, eloquent, repetitive words, but prayed within her heart in silence, she was noticed by Eli the priest, who thought she must be drunk.  It is amazing how others are not understanding when it comes to the depths of our pain!  Eli judged her immediately and even scolded her to stop drinking.  Hannah did not let Eli’s wrong conclusion discourage her.  She explained to him that she was not drunk; she was only pouring out her heart to the LORD.  She had a deep need and only the LORD could meet that need.  Only the LORD needed to hear the cry of her heart.

Once Eli heard Hannah’s explanation, he bid her to go in peace, and assured her that the God of Israel would grant her petition.

How I relate to Hannah!  There is such a deep longing in my heart that sometimes has to go unspoken to those around me, but I cry out to the LORD in silence.  My silence in my prayer time does not mean that God does not hear; just as He heard Hannah, I know He can hear me.

This day, I cry out in silence for the LORD, the God of hosts, to come down and hear my petition, have pity on me, and meet my need…just like He did for Hannah.


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