Even when all external appearances indicate that someone has it all, there may be a deep internal longing, a void that only the Lord can fill. That is the place where Hannah was in the 11th chapter of 1st Samuel. This Sunday, the pastor focused on the prayers that we pray when we need the Lord most.
When we are deeply troubled and frustrated like Hannah, when our prayers cannot be articulated in words, just through moans from our hearts and tears from our eyes, we must empty our souls and take our petitions to the Lord. Instead of clinging to whatever it is that denies us dreams fulfilled, we need to let go and pray as empty vessels. Even when those who surround us misjudge us and do not have the capacity to comprehend our pain, God knows what we need most, and he can fill our empty souls.
Generic prayers may sound nice and even poetic; however, they are not the answer when the depth and breadth of our hurt becomes too much to bear. A crushed spirit and feelings of hopelessness call for prayers of specificity. When prayer speaks our truth, our unique experience, identifying our longing and the desires of our heart, God will speak directly to it. He will hear our humble cry. If you need a way out of no way, or more love to see you through, pray for that.
After praying with specificity, as empty vessels before God, our next move is it to put into practice our prayer. God helps those who help themselves. If you are lonely and need companionship, wear your best smile, and be friendly and open. If you need a job, or a better job, don’t just sit and wait for the phone to ring. Prepare yourself, polish up your skills, be proactive.
When you pray out of your emptiness and express your need by its name, the The Lord will not ignore your prayer. Once you add practice to your prayer, wait on him. And by and by, my beloved, you will have an answered prayer.