Have you been at a point where you thought you had hit rock bottom? Maybe you started to doubt that the one thing you were asking God for every year would come true? Maybe you’re still feeling this way. Do you find yourself crying while praying? Maybe you’ve moved from crying to screaming to rolling on the floor as you pray.
If so, know that God hears you. You don’t have to look farther than Hannah to be reminded of this type of despair in the Bible. Hannah reminds us of how we can go through pain and God will hear us and bless us in time.
Hannah was the wife of Elkanah. In fact, she was one of two women married to him. Unfortunately, Hannah had no children while Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife, had many. Even though Elkanah loved Hannah deeply she was barren and because of this, she was bullied by Peninnah.
Now this man would go up from his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of armies in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the Lord there. When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; but to Hannah he would give a double portion, because he loved Hannah, but the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival, moreover, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. And it happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, that she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. Then Elkanah her husband would say to her, “Hannah, why do you weep, and why do you not eat, and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” – 1 Samuel 1:3-8
Even while Hannah was dealing with the anguish of being barren and bullied by Peninnah, she continued to plead with God. Even at the temple, she is approached by the priest Eli, who accuses her of being drunk and says to her, “How long will you behave like a drunk? Get rid of your wine!”
Have you or someone you saw at church been in so much pain that you fall during prayer? Maybe you roll on the floor as you cry out to God. Hannah was this person, crying out to God, and the priest misinterpreted it as drunkenness. We never know what people are going through and there is no right way to cry out to God yet here Hannah was being judged amid her prayer.
She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she made a vow and said, “Lord of armies, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your bond-servant and remember me, and not forget Your bond-servant, but will give Your bond-servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” -1 Samuel 1:10-11
Hannah responded by telling Eli that she was deeply troubled and in this state of anguish and grief was crying out to God. Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him”-1 Samuel 1:15-17