Welcome to day one of your Light In The Darkness Devotional!
We will be starting together in 1 Samuel. I know it seems like a random place to start, but this is the book in the Bible I was in when God so lovingly turned my quiet time into creating this devotional. I have actually never gone through this book of the Bible in full, so I am excited for what is in store for us.
Today’s scripture is from 1 Samuel 1. “Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” (v. 17)
Quick background on this verse: Samuel’s mom, Hannah, thus far was unable to have children. Her husband had another wife, Peninnah, who had given him children. She would basically mock or ridicule Hannah for not being able to have children. Hannah reached a point where she was so deeply sad over this that she took a prayer to the Lord and promised Him that if the Lord gave her a son, she would dedicate him back to Him. The Lord heard her prayers and she was given Samuel and she kept her promise by dedicating her son to God for a lifetime of service at the age of about 3. She left him under Eli’s care and teaching. He was the high priest at the time and the one who Samuel would grow up learning under.
Back to our verse, when Hannah was in such sadness, she took to praying, Eli noticed her lips moving as she prayed, at first, he thought she was drunk, but when she told him that she “was pouring out her soul to the Lord” he responded with today’s scripture, “Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” I love that, she was pouring out her soul, not only giving him bits and pieces but giving Him ev.er.y.thing she had been carrying, over to him. The biggest takeaway from this is that the Lord hears our prayers and when we pray, we need to give it all to Him. Our prayers may not always be part of God’s plan or what is right in his eyes, so we feel like he isn’t answering or hearing us, but he hears! The Bible’s application says “[Honestly praying to the Lord] is the antidote for discouragement: tell God how you really feel and leave your problems with him.” It earlier said “Prayer opens the way for God to work.” So good. When we pray, it allows God to come in and work! The key is, in order for Him to hear our prayers, we must first pray, lay it all out there and then leave it with Him. I know sometimes I’m guilty of talking about my problems instead of giving them over to him. But, going before Him with our problems is where the PEACE lies. When we are done praying, do we leave that time feeling at peace? Like we can actually go on with our day peace-filled? How freeing would that be if we genuinely were able to pray it up to Him and leave it there?!
Is there a problem you are currently sitting with or talking about but you haven’t taken it to Him yet? Is there a reason you haven’t taken it to Him? Fear, doubt, worry? Take a minute and write it down, full honesty and transparency and what has been holding you back from talking to Him? Then invite the Lord into it and ask Him to take it ALL from you. Then “may you go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
Heavenly Father, thank you for today’s reading, thank you for showing us what it looks like to pour out our souls to you through prayer. We ask that in our prayers to you that we can learn to hand it ALL over to you. We know you see the bigger picture of our lives and that sometimes our prayers don’t match your plan, but Lord we leave it here with you today, we trust you and know that just because a prayer isn’t answered in a way that we were hoping, that you still hear us. In fact, you are with us in the problem, pain or circumstance. We thank you for that, too. Please help us as we start to talk about things weighing heavy on us to others, that your spirit reminds us to bring it to you FIRST then rely on the support of others. Help us to leave our problems with you so that we can go on in peace knowing that you are taking care of us. In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN!