I’m finding myself praying constantly right now.
No matter where.
No matter when.
No matter the company I’m keeping.
I’m beyond the point of waiting for a church service or a group collective to offer up heaven-bound words. The cacophony of prayers, silently looping as the minutes of the day tick on, fill in the space between others.
There are some big things hitting my heart right now. Big stuff that can’t be solved by this little world. Big stuff, that needs a big God, with big answers.
And it seems like all I can do is pray.
Yet, I have to be reminded, praying is not the all I can do, it is the BEST thing I can do.
A little story tucked in the pages of the Old Testament, gives a glimpse into that kind of power of prayer. Hannah. A woman so distraught by her childless life, prayed without ceasing between the cries of her soul. Years upon years she heard no answers from God. And then she did.
But it wasn’t just the praying that was given notice, it was the way she prayed…
“Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard.” 1Sam1:13
She may have thought she was alone in prayer, but another took notice:
“Eli (head priest) thought she was drunk and said to her, “how long will you keep getting drunk?”
There was more to her story she needed to share:
“Not so, said Hannah. I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking. I was pouring out my soul to the Lord! I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
What a picture that is! Hannah, so consumed with what was breaking her heart that she simply muttered voiceless words to the God she trusted—no matter where, no matter when, no matter who saw.
Are you finding yourself pouring your heart out to the Lord these days?
Are the problems so heavy, so deep, so intense that you are at the same place as Hannah—praying here out of my great anguish and grief?
Go on and keep drunk-dialing God. Pray so much, and so often, and so intense, that your lips can’t help but move through the quiet concerns that are bursting your soul. Mutter as if you are without limits. Let others think you are drunk; let God know you need Him!
God wants us to be reminded—pray! Pray constantly. Pray hard. Pray so much, that the loud voices in your head move to soundless movements of your lips. Don’t listen to those who say to keep quiet. Keep calling out to Him in the midst of your turmoil—no matter what anyone around thinks. Because it is in those times our hearts connect to God’s. When we get to that place in our prayers where we are emptied of our limits, He is limitless in His response.
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you.” Psalm 55:22
Dear friend, I want to remind you that our God hears your cries. He hears you. He truly does. He hears every prayer you send Him. He knows your brokenness and your fears, right now, right this minute. He knows the trial you are facing. He hears your whimpers in the dark. He hears you!
And He will answer. He will answer with the greatness of His being, for the goodness of your needs. His way. His doing. His timing.
Go ahead, cry openly to Him. Mutter to Him. Loop the thoughts until they are reverberations that hit heaven’s gates. Chatter and mumble so much that others wonder who you’re talking to. But in the midst of that, also realize, the relationship forged between the two of you, is the greatest part of your prayers. God will always want your heart with your words, because it is there that He will give the most comfort and the most support. Send your requests, most certainly, but be willing to receive His love over everything.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
Father, Father, we thank you for the gift of prayer! May we be the Hannahs you love, as we pour our hearts out to you. Our hearts are full and our burdens are heavy—meet us in our endless prayers as we cry to you. Hear us. Heal us. Help us. But above all, set our hearts on the love You give, and the comfort You offer.