“In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD.”

– I Samuel 1:10 NIV

My boldness in my faith walk with Christ begins when I am bold enough to position myself in a posture of humility before God in prayer. Proverbs teaches that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Hebrews teaches that Jesus was heard in His prayers because of His reverent submission. Christ’s example models for us then that effective living begins with an effective prayer life. My ability to surrender properly to the will of my Father as Christ did will begin when my disposition embraces the value and necessity of prayer. This weekend on Sunday my children and I discussed during bible study the principle of leadership illustrated by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” Through discussion I reminded them that anyone who follows me as I follow Christ is actually following Christ not me, because I am following Christ’s example. I explained to them that as Christians, true leadership begins with following Christ’s example. My mother, their grandmother, interjected the sentiment, that at one time there was the expression WWJD (What would Jesus do?) to reiterate the principle of godly leadership.

If you take the time to inspect the life and prayer life of Hannah illustrated in 1 Samuel 1 you will see an act of boldness that does not necessarily reflect audbile words of declaration as much as it reflects a heart that is bold and assertive in how she chooses to respond to life’s circumstances and the steps she takes to affect positive change by taking action beginning with prayer. The manner she chooses to dialgue with God in what she is willing to do for what she seeks God for is bold, but the bible reveals that at no time is she audibly expressing to God the concerns of her heart and soul. In fact, the bible clearly states that her lips were moving, but no sound was coming out. Hanah was in an intimate discourse with God soul to soul and I believe her position and posture is what moved God and not declarative words.

What resonates within me about Hannah and her prayer, including what is written about her is the fact that she was willing to disclose to God not only her desires, but her current state in how she felt. Mentioning that she was miserable, deeply troubled and pouring out her soul to God in prayer with great anguish and in grief. The bible describes her being in bitterness of soul. You may even go so far to say that Hannah was depressed, but in whatever way you choose to describe her, I am both encouraged and comforted by Hannah in the way she was illustrated, because Hannah lets me know how I feel is okay and God understands I will feel this way as a Christian, at times, and I do not need to be ashamed of this. Hannah also let’s me know how I ought to deal with these intense feelings of emotion that prevented her from eating for days. By the time she finished praying, Hannah was able to eat again! I have discovered that sincere prayer leads to peace and rest for my soul first. There is an immediate response from God in the form of relief if I surrender and submit myself in reverence before Him with boldness.

May God instill a sense of boldness within you to strengthen you in your faith walk that will empower you to live vicoriously and enjoy the life Christ came for you to have to the full.

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