A Prayer that touches heaven – 1Sam.1:1-19
*But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” (**1Sam
1:15, 16 ESV**) *
*Prayer is a universal human language, everyone every where prays *- to God or to someone or something else. It is the common thread that ties all religions. But not all prayers are potent or effective, only those prayers that touch heaven receive divine attention and divine approval. That is the critical issue in prayer – divine acceptance and divine approval.
So, what kind of prayer receives divine attention? Hannah gives us some tips:
- Flows from a life of worship* -she was a woman who, despite her challenges, never failed to appear before God at Shiloh to worship. Jesus taught us in praying to place worship above asking,
… our Father, who art in heaven, hallow be your name…”* (*Lk.11:1,2*)
- Flows from a life in vital relationship with God* – a life that God is Lord over, a life over which He can decide issues. God it was who *”shut Hannah’s womb” *(*1Sam.1:5, 6*). The question is who brought you to where you are presently whether in your job, career, marriage, or location? God? Yourself? Family? Friends or who? What does heaven know about you and your trouble?
- Flows from a life and will aligned to heaven* – Hannah was desperate for a child, heaven was desperate for a prophet. Thus the need of Hannah and the need of heaven were in perfect alignment. Jesus taught us to pray,
“… thy will be done…”* (*Lk.1:1, 2*); in Gethsemane he cried*, “…not my will but thine…”* (*Matt.26:42*). Elder John said, we can only be confident of our prayers receiving divine attention and divine approval when they are in accordance with God’s will (*1Jn.5:14)* Have you checked your will alignment in prayer?
- Flows from a heart that is real and genuine *- too many of our prayers are like after dinner speeches, well rehearsed and academic. There is a complete disconnect between the lips and the heart. And in these days of “faith and positive confession teachings” that seek to make us deny reality, this becomes a real challenge. Hannah did not hide her sorrow and bitterness before God; hear her *”… I am troubled in spirit … I have been speaking out of great anxiety and vexation…”* *(1Sam.1:16)**.* Jesus cried in Gethsemane, *”… my soul is sorrowful even unto death…”** **(Mk.14:32)**.* Is there a vital connection between your lips and your heart in prayer or are you just making an impressive, well-rehearsed speech to God?
- Focuses on God, the recipient of genuine prayer* – too many of our prayers are these days are directed at the devil. We hardly focus on our Father, to whom prayer is an incense of worship (Rev.8:3)**.* We would rather address the devil in our prayers, as though he has anything but distraction to offer us in prayer. There is a time to face the devil in spiritual warfare, but that is not when I am before my father in prayer, it is when he comes my way to hinder. God must be our focus when we pray. Hannah said, *”… I have been pouring out my soul BEFORE THE LORD…”* (*1Sam.1:15*, emphasis mine)
Prayer is more than a shopping list; it is a relationship between God and His children. God sees prayer as worship and a partnership in building Hiskingdom on earth. A prayer that touches heaven and brings answers must be real, focused on God and aligned to His will.
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Sam KPUTU is a missionary with CAPRO MISSIONS, an African indigenous and non-denominational missionary organization. CAPRO Missions seeks to disciple, mobilize, train and deploy missionaries from Africa to Africa and the remaining unreached parts of the world. She currently has over 500 missionaries serving in various ministries in 24 countries of Africa, the Middle East and Europe. www.capromissions.org
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