“Then Hannah prayed and said:
My heart rejoices in the Lord;
In the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
There is no one holy like the Lord;
There is no one besides you;
There is no Rock like our God.
Do not keep talking so loudly
Or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
For the Lord is a God who knows,
And by Him deeds are weighed.
(1 Samuel 2:1-3 NIV)
When we continue reading this prayer, we see the heart of a woman who had humiliated by her husband’s other wife–Peninnah–who had children, but Hannah had none. God in His faithfulness to Hannah, heard her prayers and saw her heart when she pleaded for a child and now the child, Samuel is given to The Lord, through Eli to devote his life to serving The Lord.
We see a prayer–in sincerity–acknowledging God for all He is and all He does and confessions of faith for all He will do. All of this by a woman who had been ashamed of being barren, but now rejoices in the birth of her son–a son she dedicated to the Lord–rather than keep him close for herself–keeping her vow to The Lord.
We are told in other scripture references that it is better not to make a vow to the Lord than to make one and not keep it. Hannah understood the importance of keeping a vow to God and her relationship–her wisdom in knowing that He had heard and answered her prayer so she would no longer be humiliated, motivated her, knowing she could now hold her head high–after the birth of her son.
Are we sincere with God when we pray? Do we acknowledge our own shortcomings and ask Him to help us overcome them? Do we acknowledge who He is and all He has already done in our lives? Or are we just praying out of tradition with no understanding or relationship with God–not really expecting anything to change in our lives? Or do we treat God like He’s supposed to be our “sugar-daddy” and we only talk to Him when we want something from Him? Do we understand that prayer is communication with God and we should communicate with Him daily (as often as we want) and then we should listen to Him speak to us–through His Word or to our hearts as still ourselves to hear?
I thank God daily for allowing me another opportunity to get living right for Him–not because I’m so horrible, but I acknowledge my imperfections; my impatience with people who I think should know better about certain things and my moodiness over situations I cannot control. I acknowledge who He is and all He has done–in my life and confess His Word–over my life: By His stripes, I am healed and whole; There is nothing too hard for God and because I am His, I can do all things through Him who loves me and do them well; I am more than a conqueror and victory in Jesus is mine to enjoy daily; no weapon formed against me shall prosper–no amount of dissension, no matter how many people speak against me–nothing they say shall interfere with God’s plans for me–their words have no power to change my destiny as God has planned it. I don’t know about you, but this is how I pray.
God responds to our sincerity and our faith, not our emotions for our emotions are fickle–they change as easily as the wind blows. But He knows if our faith in Him is real because He knows our hearts. And since He knows our hearts, we might as well be real with Him. Pray–with a sincere heart and faith to receive His answer.