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Bible Notes

1 Samuel 1:12-16 (03.02.21)

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1 Samuel 1:12-16 NIV
As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. [13] Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk [14] and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.” [15] “Not 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. [16] Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”

What does a great prayer look like? It strikes me that in the Bible, often the great prayers are not those that are long, or theologically sound, or beautifully spoken or constructed, but those that are full of genuine emotion, sharing with God what the person honestly feels and thinks. This is one of those. It is not beautiful, it has no words, nor is it theologically beautiful. Instead it is a snotty, tearful prayer of anguish that is so disjointed that it is mistaken for drunken drivel. If you ever feel like your prayers are a stumbling mess, don’t worry, that’s not the measure of how God values them. Ask instead, are you expressing what you truly feel and being open and honest with God.

Be honest. Tell God exactly what is on your mind right now, don’t beat around the bush or try to make it nice, and if you’re feeling emotional in anyway, don’t hide that either, but express that too as part of your worship.

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