Lets look at examples of fervent or earnest prayer this afternoon. 1 Samuel 1:12-15 is a great example of a woman praying from her heart and pouring out her soul to God. Why do men think that only women can pray like Hannah? Sorry guys, fervent or earnest prayer is not exclusive of Christian men. We will discuss that question later on.
“And as she continued praying before the Lord, Eli noticed her mouth. Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. Eli said to her, How long will you be intoxicated? Put wine away from you. But Hannah answered, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I was pouring out my soul before the Lord.”
I never had an accusation during my prayer time, of being intoxicated, praying fervently. Not in my entire Christian experience. Most likely, it’s because my lack of earnest prayer in public. Now I pray in public, don’t get me wrong. I just can’t seem to bring myself to praying fervently in front of other people. How about you? Is it because we are concerned what people around us might think? They might be opposed to that type of praying in church? Lets back up to verses 6 and 7. Did Hannah have opposition that intimidated her?
“…and her rival provoked her greatly to vex her, because the Lord had left her childless.” If I was about to enter the sanctuary on Sunday morning and someone said to me, “I see you and your wife are STILL childless”, fervent prayer would not be on my mind! I would be focussing on the comment that was made. My attitude would not be in the mood of praying earnestly…at all.
Verse 7 goes on, “So it was year after year; whenever Hannah went up to the Lord’s house, Peninnah provoked her, so she wept and did not eat.” So this opposition to Hannah’s petitions to God wasn’t just once. Verse 7 says, the harassment went on and on and on. It got to the point that she couldn’t even eat. Did Hannah give up, cave in and quit in her request? Go to verse 10 and see how Hannah was praying. “And [Hannah] was in distress of soul, praying to the Lord and weeping bitterly.” There was lip and mouth movement while she was praying, without audible words. Verse 15, Hannah describes to Eli how she prayed: “I was pouring out my soul before the Lord.” The first perception of her Pastor was her countenance while praying. Hannah must have been ‘hitting the sauce’ before coming to church. Her testimony was an awakening to her Pastor, to her husband Elkanah and to us about how we can pray and get results. Doesn’t matter what our gender is. Did Hannah get results from her praying? Look at verse 18 and see the results of her fervent prayer.
“So [Hannah] went her way and ate, her countenance no longer sad.” After praying, things happened. Her countenance, her face and her composure changed. The next morning Hannah’s husband could see the difference in his wife. Verse 19 says, “Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her.” Now without going into the specifics here and you saying, “T.M.I” , I will just mention that if we do our part, God will do His part. Now Hannah’s results for her earnest praying are present in verses 26 and 27. “Hannah said, Oh my Lord! I am the woman who stood by you here PRAYING TO THE LORD. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted my petition made to Him.” After my detective work in 1 Samuel, I look at my own heart regarding the results when I pray. I had some questions I needed to ask myself. DO I NEED TO PRAY LIKE HANNAH EVERY TIME I PRAY? HAVE I EVER PUT FORTH HONEST, EARNEST PRAYER IN MY PETITIONS? We will look Monday at some of the answers and continue looking at what God says about Getting Results in Prayer.