Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:1–28
Key Verse: “‘Do not regard your servant as worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.’ Then Eli answered, ‘Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.’” (1 Samuel 1:16–17)
Hannah was disappointed, stressed out, and anxious because she’d been waiting for what seemed like forever for something she wanted with all her heart. She went alone to worship God, weeping bitterly, and bargaining with God to answer her request.
Have you ever been there? Dealing with unanswered prayer? Stressed out and bargaining with God?
Her approach to God was solitary, she wept bitterly, and her distress was misunderstood by the leader there, Eli. She was so upset he thought she was drunk! After explaining herself, Eli blessed her and affirmed her prayer. Later, Hannah rejoiced to find that her request was granted.
Sometimes the grief we feel or the request we have is ours alone, and we need to go to God alone. When we’re alone we feel free to fully express our anger, anxiety, and distress to the Lord. And we receive blessings in God’s presence even though he may not grant our request.
For Hannah, one of her greatest joys came about when she poured out her heart while alone with the Lord. It might not have been pretty—her weeping and crying out—but Eli saw, God saw. Eli blessed her and God compassionately answered her request.
Sometimes the best things happen when we’re courageous enough to be alone with God.
What is your usual response when God doesn’t answer your prayers and you’re stressed out? Do you go to God like Hannah did, honestly and alone?
Certainly, it’s good to pray with others, but it also important to take courage and be honest and alone with God. Commit to spending at least five minutes alone with God every day this week. Write it down in a daily planner or put a reminder in your phone. Be honest with God about any hurts or unanswered prayers.
Lord, sometimes I’m afraid to be alone in your presence and afraid to be honest with you. Holy Spirit, please break though my fear so that I can fully embrace being alone with you and being honest about my thoughts and feelings. Help me know that in your presence there are blessings awaiting me. Amen.