Read 1 Samuel 1:13-15.
13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, ‘How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.’
15 ‘Not so, my lord,’ Hannah replied, ‘I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.'
In this beautiful moment we see Hannah praying silently. In other instances, like in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 11:13), we read of loud prayers. In both instances the key to their prayer was not the volume but the fact that their hearts were in the praying. Hannah was pouring out her soul to the Lord. Such a powerful picture of desperate heartfelt prayer offered silently yet still moving the heart of God.
Hannah is also praying alone. Jesus certainly endorsed this way of praying, "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:6). At other times, we see the whole church coming together and praying so powerfully the room is shaking (Acts 4:31).
The lesson from Hannah and Jesus’ teaching on prayer is that we should not value prayers according to length, volume, place or use of clever words. The life in any prayer is dependent on the heart behind the prayer. A poured out prayer has the power to move the heart of God however it is offered.
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