We were having bible study tonight and while the woman of God was praying, her phone kept going in and out. Yes, it was a distraction. But it led me to ask the question: is an unheard prayer any less powerful??
God brought to my remembrance the woman Hannah. Disclaimer: One of my pet peeves is long prayers with no power. For me, prayers without power are dissertations. Now, back to Hannah. I Sam 1:12-13: “12 As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. 13 Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking”. Here we find a woman whose heart yearns for a child. We must understand that in those times a woman’s value was associated with her ability to give her husband children. Can we say that being childless hurt her heart? Here she was in the home of her husband, unable to fulfill her wifely duties to bear a child while his other wife gave him multiple children. Hannah goes up and cries her anguish out to God.
This I think is the key. She didn’t cry out to anyone else, not even her husband as found in verses 8 and 9: “8 “Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?”9 Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle.” Her heart was in a place to put her trust and sorrow at the feet of God where she waited and presented herself.
The issue with the priest for me is a simple one that some church folks make. Mistaken identity. Eli thought she was drunk. Maybe it was due to the fact that she was at the temple after the dinner hour. Maybe he had seen others exhibit the same behavior. This is a problem with complacency. We get so hung up in our own worlds that we assume what is happening in another’s world instead of examining each and every situation for what it is. Or we get so use to the way things have always been.
Hannah’s silent prayer had power. How do I know this? One: It came from her heart: “15 “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord.” Two: she went to the One that could solve her problem. Her faith took her to the temple (see verse 9 above).
Prayer heard or unheard by man is still heard by God. When we stop praying amiss (James 4:3) for humans to acknowledge our divinity, God can move on our behalf.
Be A Blessing and Not Just Blessed