READING: 1 Samuel 1-2, Luke 16
Hannah’s barrenness must have been agonizing. Year after year, she wept in the temple. In fact, she couldn’t even eat as her rival ridiculed her for having no children. Instead, she “prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears” (1 Sam 1:10).
What Eli sees, in fact (though he misunderstands her actions), is a woman whose heart is broken under that weight. She apparently has a close relationship with God, signified by her continual praying, but her pain is nonetheless real. Few things would have been as painful for a woman in those days as bearing no children for her husband. So, Eli found Hannah “praying silently, and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard” (1 Sam. 1:13).
It’s interesting to think about how we express our prayers sometimes. At times, all we can do is cry out to God with all our being, almost as if we believe the volume of our prayers makes a difference. Even when we know better, urgency and need add to the height of our words. At other times, when our pain is equally great, it’s almost hard to get the words out. Our desperation for God only drives us to our face, where our words out of brokenness seem to be almost silent. Our lips are moving, but nothing can be heard.
The incredibly good news is that God hears us in both times.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You that You can handle both my cries and my whispers.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Samuel 3-7, Luke 17:1-19