Hannah: Praying in Pain
1 Samuel 1
There are common characteristics in those who choose to pray when life turns painful...
1. They may be weathered by life but they choose to worship anyway (1:3f).
Divinely orchestrated struggles are a testing of our faith (1 Thes. 3:1-5; Jas. 1:2-4)
The enemy piles on every willing dupe possible to weaken your hold on what you believe.
Worship is a gauge of how well we are weathering the test - it keeps our problems and “Lord Almighty” right-sized - chases fear; fear eats faith for lunch (Psm 34:4; 56:3-; Prov 3:24-25
2. They have confident hope that prayer matters (1:10, 12-16).
Hannah’s husband had long ago given up on her “fortunes” - but hard times drove Hannah to hope (Rom 5:3-5; 1 Sam. 1:18)
Either become selfish, self-sufficient, bitter or you will throw yourself at the mercy of God (1:10, 15-16)
3. They seek to fashion their “ask” in a way that advances God’s will (1:11, 22, 26-28).
It’s not just why you’re asking, but what you’re asking that matters to the Lord (Jas. 4:2,3; 1 Jn. 5:14-15).
“Because I asked the Lord” and everyone else was “doing what was right in their own eyes”
Appealing to God’s promises, purpose and public platform in perplexing times, rightly honours a prayer - answering God. The God, who goes to extremes to be gracious on behalf of those fully committed to him, “lifted high her horn” (1 Sam 2:1,21; 2 Chron. 16:9).
We, as a culture, are so concerned about what our rights are; but what are God's rights?