Scripture: 1 Samuel 1: 10-16
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
“No 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. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
Oh, ladies, I’m amazed that God has handpicked this day for me to write about. I’m a little nervous about the fact that today’s story leaves me no option other than brutal honesty about my own situation and impossible prayers. I’m also anxious about putting my thoughts into FB post length rather than the novel that it could be. Bear with me, please.
During the first round of this prayer journal, I was praying for some answers about our house. My husband and I had recently had to sell our home that I was sure we’d live in forever. We lost money on that sell, and we moved with no money for a down payment on another home. Thankfully, God provided for us big time through a member of my husband’s family. However, the home we moved into needed a good bit of work if we were going to make it our long-term home. As I said, we did not have money for that.
For two rounds of this book, I pleaded with God for direction and provision for our home. It was just as Kit described, “Sometimes our prayer life is dark and sad and even feels lonely. Sometimes we feel like no one can understand our grief or pain.” That’s exactly how I felt. Then, one Sunday morning, I cried out to God for a sign for THAT day. Since I knew God couldn’t move us into a new home in a day, I asked Him to show me a sign that day letting me know He was still there, listening and planning for us.
During worship that morning, I looked down during a daydream to the paper my young daughter was drawing on. She’d written out “Let God give to you.” WOW! I saw it as the sign I’d prayed for…. Don’t rush it, Amy. Wait for me, Amy. Let me provide the answer to this prayer.” Shortly after that day, God opened the door to ministry in FL. We were able to enter ministry again, and I realized that’s why we hadn’t been able to purchase a home.
Well, here we are in FL. We are so happy to be in ministry again. We feel so blessed for a second chance. Yet, 4 years later, I’m still praying the same prayer. God, we need money for a down payment. And, in FL, the amount we’d need is so much greater. It feel hopeless, sad, and frustrating.
Earlier this week, I realized that I’m not praying with faith anymore. I’m praying with doubt. I’m praying with bitterness. And, I’m praying without any expectation…. And wondering why my prayers aren’t being answered.
What a day! I’m convicted AND encouraged by Hannah. I’m crying out to God again. Only this time I’m looking for a sacrifice to be made as I plead with Him to give our family a “home” again. What is it that He wants me to offer Him from this home? Hannah so boldly said, “give me a son and I’ll give him right back. I’ll never put a razor to his head as a sign of the sacrifice.” This morning, I’m honestly asking God to show me how His provision of a home could also give me an opportunity to mark my family’s lives with His glory. Would you do the same? Let’s offer up bold prayers but also faith-filled sacrifice. He’s so worthy.
Heavenly Father, I just want to thank you for the Spirit’s conviction. I want to confess a huge lack of faith. HUGE! You CAN do more than I can imagine. But, you want me to actively believe it. Build our faith today. Do something BIG and lead us to look for opportunity to give back to you. You’re amazing. Forgive me for missing it sometimes (well often). Like Hannah, give me the boldness to ask even when it looks odd, or crazy, or unrealistic to anyone looking.