I’m sure you want a deeper prayer life. I know I do. I want my prayer life to grow and expand in ways that are beyond my imagination. Since, we all want the abiding prayer life testimonies of saints gone by, we buy the books on prayer. We listen to more Bible studies on prayer. We may even attend a few prayer meetings.  But our prayer life isn’t growing at all. It seems the more books we read on prayer the more convicted we are!

I want my prayer life to grow and expand in ways that are beyond my imagination. Click To Tweet

The path to a deeper prayer life often comes in ways that we don’t want, in ways we don’t expect.

Hannah was in a very difficult situation.  She was barren. She was unable to have a child. This was and still is a horrible condition for a woman to be in. Add to that her husband had another wife. That wife was bearing children to her husband.  That wife taunted and caused great torment for Hannah.  Her husband didn’t quite understand the pain, the hurt, and trauma she was enduring.  Yet, Hannah makes a great decision in the midst of her pain. She heads to the Temple where she believes she will draw closer to God. He will meet my deepest need! As she is praying, she’s met by an insensitive priest who accuses her of being drunk. If there was ever a time of loneliness and isolation in her life, it was then. From where will her help come?

1 Sam 1:12-18 (NKJV) And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth.  Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.  So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”  And Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.  “Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.”  Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.”  And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. 

With Hannah’s prayer, there was no sound, no utterance, just the groaning of her spirit praying desperately with Her faithful God. Her prayer was so intimate and  so deep it was totally misunderstood by the Priest Eli.  Hannah’s name means “gracious”. When misunderstood and falsely accused, what a gracious answer she gives to this insensitive spiritual leader! “No, my Lord, I’ve poured out my soul before the LORD.” This is probably the best description of prayer at its deepest, pouring out our soul before the Lord.

Romans 8:26-27 (NLT) And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

Friend, too often our prayers are merely from our heads and not from our hearts. They are routine and filled with ritual. How God wants to deepen our prayer life! You know how He does that? Pain. Deep painful trials often lead to a deep vibrant prayer life.

God sometimes brings us to that place of utter desperation and despair, bringing us to a depth of prayer that we normally don’t enter into.  It’s when the situation is desperate that we tend to get desperate before God.  Why is it that we wait until things get so bad to pray?  I know that when our son Eddie died in May of 2013, our lives have become one desperate cry for His presence. Don’t give me something Lord, give me You!

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Hannah says “I’m not a drunk but a desperate woman praying expecting God to answer my request”. She left encouraged, eating, and uplifted in Him.

Oh the joy of faith, trust, and prayer! This is another way of seeing the ‘peace that passes understanding’ as the answer in praying for all things!

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

Oh the joy of faith, trust, and prayer! Click To Tweet