Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior (Habbakuk 3:17-18).
It is as if the writer were actually saying, “Even if I am forced to undergo the extreme condition of not knowing where to find my next meal, and although my house is empty and my fields yield no crops . . . ‘yet I will rejoice in the Lord.'”*
*L.B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert, p.307.
She prayed for a son and God granted her petition. In her next recorded prayer, Hannah “takes little notice of the particular mercy she was now rejoicing in. She overlooks the gift and praises the giver.”*
Here’s some of what Hannah prayed:
There is none holy like the Lord:
There is no rock like our God.
The Lord is a God of knowledge,
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth (from 1 Samuel 2:2-10).
Next time God answers your prayer, praise Him like Hannah did.
*Matthew Henry, The Matthew Henry Commentary, p.283.
In deep anguish, crying bitterly, Hannah poured out her heart to the Lord.
After this time of prayer “She was no longer sad (1 Samuel 1:18).”
Next time you’re in anguish, try praying like Hannah did.
“What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him, visit him every morning (Job 7:17-18 bold mine).”
When you open your eyes at the beginning of your day, Jesus is there. Take time to notice Him. Treat Him like an honored guest. Listen to what He says in His Word. Thank Him for coming.
That’s what prayer is all about.
Don’t face trouble or sorrow alone.
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
in his arms he’ll take and shield you,
you will find a solace there.*
Jesus has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4).
The Lord is my steadfast love . . . my shield (Psalm 144:2).
*adapted from What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph Scriven.
I took this picture in Israel. See the trees and flowers; houses and tombs. It’s not all that different, really, from where we live.
God is still writing stories through us. No matter where we are. P.R.A.Y.
It was night when Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. The disciples fell asleep. Jesus asked them, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray (Matthew 36:40).”
It was a bright sunny day when we visited the Garden of Gethsemane. I imagined Jesus asking me, “Could you watch with me one hour? Keep watch and pray.” “Watch and pray . . . the spirit is willing, but the body is weak (Matthew 26:41).”