Scripture Of The Week

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you.  Ps. 55:22

In I Sam. 1-2, we read how Hannah was adored by her husband, Elkanah.  Yet the evils of polygamy against women in biblical days are nowhere more apparent than in his household, because Elkanah had another wife, Peninnah.  The problem was that Hannah was barren and desperately wanted a son, but Peninnah tormented Hannah because she had given birth to several children.  While Hannah was first in Elkanah’s heart, Peninnah was unquestionably first in the eyes of a society where having children gave women status.  And Peninnah’s cutting remarks toward Hannah suggested God was playing favorites and loved her more than Hannah.

But God was doing a mighty work in Hannah’s heart.  Through her pain she found refuge in prayer and on one occasion, she went to the tabernacle to pray.  There Hannah poured out her heart and passionately prayed to the Lord.  The Bible says Hannah’s lips moved but there was no sound.  In fact, Hannah’s prayer was so impassioned that the priest who was present there, Eli, thought she was drunk and rebuked her.  (It seems that Israel’s religious leadership was not acquainted with such heartfelt praying!)

Minister and author Eugene Peterson wrote, “God’s people fall to their knees in a pool of light.”  The light that shone on Hannah as she prayed was the truth she learned about God through her barrenness.  Soon God granted Hannah’s request and Hannah gave birth to Samuel, who became one of Israel’s godliest leaders. B ut Hannah rejoiced not about her child, but about the incomparable character of Yahweh.

What is it we need to bring before our Heavenly Father today?  Fall on your face before Him and pour out your heart.  Then praise Him as He shows His deep love for you.  Pray also that Christians across America will set aside structured routine and just experience passionate prayer before the Lord.

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