In my time in the Word this week, I decided to read 1 Samuel. I was looking for hidden gems in a familiar story. Success! I got the answer to something my heart had wondered.
Many of us know the story of Hannah struggling to conceive. In fact many of you reading this may have even had that same struggle yourself and found comfort in this testimony. However, this post isn't going to be about the miracle of conception or even about childbirth at all. So, men... you can keep reading on... ;)
There was a verse in chapter one that caught my eye. 1 Samuel 1:13 says...
I knew exactly what that meant. I've done that act many times. I'm sure with random passersby wondering what kind of mental condition I had. This impacted me because on occasions when I've not even whispered aloud prayers that my heart cried out, I've wondered if they were as powerful or even acknowledged at all. I have had a sneaking worry that because I didn't split the airwaves with the faith of my spoken words that they wouldn't move darkness or travel to the throne of heaven.
What a silly worry.
Here we have Hannah, only mouthing her prayer that I'm certain she'd prayed aloud a million times over. As the story plays out, we know that Eli realizes she isn't drunk, agrees with her heart's prayer, and over time she conceives her son, Samuel! We have a living testimony as proof. Even more, if we continue reading, we have a confirmation in that same book. 1 Samuel 16:7 says...
The Lord actually repeats to Samuel what brought him into existence in the first place. Outwardly, Hannah looked drunk, and Eli judged her, wrongly. But, God SAW HER HEART. He knew what was going on inside of her, what she was asking of Him, without even having to hear her spoken word.
It made me rethink the way I look at other verses about the heart.
Like Proverbs 4:23.
I don't know about you, but I've heard this verse misused so many times that I thought we were supposed to "guard our heart" from other wicked people who might come to steal it from us. What if instead of locking up our heart from other people, we're supposed to keep His words in the middle of it like the earlier verses in that chapter of Proverbs say to do. That way when people hurt us, our plans fail, or disaster strikes our hearts are singing praises not just our mouths because He's hearing what's truly "springing" out of us.
I could keep going through the different verses, like Jeremiah 17:9-10 or Psalm 37:4, but you can look those up on your own if you'd like further study on the heart and keeping of it.
I've read the verses and known that He looks at our heart. He sees the true us. He knows our real motivations. That I thought I understood.
What I hadn't stopped to consider is that He would hear, care about, and answer the silent prayers of my heart. Or... the prayers of your heart.
The prayer that you can't bring yourself to pray out loud anymore. The prayer you're too scared to say in your small group. The prayer you don't whisper because you're out, there are people around, and you don't want to seem crazy. The prayer that you thought was only a passing question you had.
This is a reminder that He hears them. He hears them all.
I can't say when Hannah received the miracle she had been praying for because the Bible does say that it was a "process of time" before she conceived, and I didn't study in depth the time line. I can't promise miracles. I don't know why some see the results of the desires of their hearts, and I wouldn't ever really want to have that power. I believe that His thoughts and ways are higher, and that He works all things for our benefit and His glory (Is. 55:8-9 & Rom. 8:28.) However, what I do know, is that her miracle was a result not only of the weeping of her tears or her sobbing prayers she babbled aloud, but also the deep silent prayers of her heart that she only hoped God would hear. And... that He hears yours too.