Concerning Hannah, the mother of Samuel, we read in 1 Samuel 1:12-15, “And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.” This is a familiar story where Hannah went to the temple to ask the Lord for a son. She moved her lips as she prayed. Eli, seeing her lips move, but hearing no sound, wrongfully assumed that Hannah had been drinking. Hannah told Eli she was not drunk, but she had been praying. Indeed we read that she ‘poured out’ her soul before the Lord.

We read in 1 Samuel 1:10 that Hannah, “…was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.” Hannah approached the Lord ‘heavy hearted’. She wept greatly as she besought the Lord to give her a son. It is in that anguish that she emptied herself before the Lord. All that was in her heart, holding nothing back, she laid it all at the feet of the Lord. This reminds me of the words of Job as he suffered anguish and became bitter. Job 7:11 says, “Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” Hannah, even as Job, laid her cares before the Lord, completely exposing and pouring out her soul before Him.

Dear friend, may we all learn to pour out our souls before the Lord. We are instructed in 1 Peter 5:6-7, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” May we learn to give ALL our cares to the Lord, realizing the He cares for us. We read of hindrances to our prayers in James 4:3, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” This is not ‘pouring out’ our spirits to the Lord. This is having wrong desires, praying from wrong reasons to please ourselves. This is praying hypocritically. In James 1:6 we are told to, “…ask in faith…” when we pray. Holding nothing back, we speak honestly, open, and in complete dependence before the Lord. We expose our hearts to Him and cast every single care upon Him. There is no care too large and no care too small to lay at the feet of our blessed Lord. King David instructed us in Psalm 62:8, “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” (160.1)