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04/10/2011

Provoked to persistent, powerful prayer

As a child I was often drawn to my name sake in the Bible; to the story of Hannah (1 Samuel 1). When Hannah was provoked, she knew how to pray persistently, patiently, passionately and powerfully. I like to return to this story as an example and an encouragement.

Hannah was provoked by Peninnah, who irritated Hannah year after year. Instead of responding with bitterness or jealousy, the provocation became fuel for Hannah's prayers. Hannah was persistent. She prayed and prayed for something she deeply desired even though it seemed impossible. She did not give up. She was patient, trusting God's sovereignty.

Hannah was passionate in her prayers. She didn't have a fancy style of praying – in fact Eli the priest thought she was drunk as she mumbled and wept to God! The late Selwyn Hughes, when writing about approaching God in prayer, said, "God accepts you as you are, even though it is not His intention that you stay as you are." He goes on to encourage us to use this model of prayer: "…like Hannah, we should pour out our hearts to God."

And lastly, Hannah knew that prayer was powerful.  I'll leave you with these words from Wayne Grudem: "If we are really convinced that prayer changes the way God acts and that God does bring about remarkable changes in the world in response to prayer, as Scripture repeatedly teaches that He does, then we would pray much more than we do."

Reading: 1 Samuel 1-2:11
Next Prayer Meeting: Today at 12.30pm

Hannah Beaney

Posted by Hannah Beaney
06:01


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