“‘Not so, my lord,’ Hannah replied, ‘I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.'” — 1 Samuel 1:15
Pray Like Never Before
In 1 Samuel 1, Hannah is struggling through some deep inner turmoil. Her husband Elkinah’s other wife, Peninnah, is an agitator, bully and rival. Hannah was barren, for the Lord had closed her womb, but Peninnah was fertile and fruitful. Peninnah often provoked and irritated Hannah because she had no children.
This daily occurrence would often cause Hannah to weep and go without food. Hannah desperately wanted to have a child, so the next time the family went up to sacrifice and give their offerings, she found herself at the altar praying like she had never prayed before.
In deep anguish, she spoke from her heart — but only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore, Eli took her to be a drunken woman. He said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” But Hannah answered, “Not so, my lord. I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.”
What would drive someone to pray with that level of fervency? What would push your time at the altar to the absolute brink? Turbulence, uncertainty and unrest. Hannah had prayed before but now she needed to go to war. What would it take for you to pray like never before?
— Fleceia Comeaux, NWSL’s Houston Dash co-chaplain
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