READING: 1 Samuel 1-3
“I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”
1 Samuel 1:16
It’s hard to explain what it’s like to “pour your soul out” to the Lord. The burden is so heavy that it’s almost impossible to carry—so great that it’s agonizing during the day and sleep-draining during the night. You can almost reach out and touch the burden, as if it stares you in the face and blocks your path each day. It’s just there, and it’s in the way.
Hannah felt such a burden. She was childless, and her desire to be a mother was strong. Taunts from her child-bearing rival, Peninnah, only exacerbated the issues for her. Annually, she wept and prayed at the Lord’s house; so great was her burden that she did not even eat. Even her husband Elkanah could not fully grasp the weightiness of her struggle. Surely he was better than ten sons to Hannah, he thought. Nevertheless, Hannah’s burden was deep, and it was ongoing.
Her burden is perhaps most evident in her silent prayers before the Lord. Eli the priest thought she must have been drunk (as most of the praying in the ancient world would have been verbalized aloud), but that wasn’t the case at all. In Hannah’s own words, “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment” (1 Sam. 1:15-16). Out of her pain, she had been praying intensely to the One who could make a difference. He would indeed do that by sending a son, Samuel.
God is still the One who can bear our burdens for us. Our responsibility is to take those burdens to Him and pour them out like they were water. We do not bear the burdens on our own.
- Determine what burdens you most often carry on your own.
- Whatever your burden is, pour it out to God today.
PRAYER: “Father, I give You my heart. This burden is too heavy for me.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Samuel 4-8