I Sam. 1:15-16 “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I’m not drunk! But I am very sad, and I was pouring out my heart to the LORD. Please don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”
Hannah was childless. She and her husband, Elkanah had gone to the Tabernacle to present themselves to the Lord, as was their custom. Hannah was deep in prayer and her lips were moving but no words came out. Eli, the priest, had noticed Hannah praying and assumed that she was drunk.
There are times in which words just don’t cut it. Our hearts become so heavy that we can’t even express the emotions that we are feeling inside. During these times of life, no one can really help us, because no one really can understand how our circumstances are affecting our souls. The load is so heavy that all we can do is pray. Praying from the deep anguish of the soul is something that only God can hear and understand.
Praying without words may seem to be not right, but it is so right. The Lord listens to the heart. The words we utter do not always tell the true story of what is going on in us. The Lord reads the heart and is not swayed by what we say. This is both good and bad news.
The good news is that the Lord hears the prayers we can’t even pray. He knows what we need whether we can express it or not. The bad news is that we can’t fool God with our words. No matter how eloquent our prayers may be, God is not impressed. He listens to the heart. If what we say matches up with what is in our hearts, great things happen. If they don’t match, then our prayers don’t mean much.
Pray much, and if it works, use words. Words spoken are good if they come from the heart. If words just aren’t adequate, pray without words. Let your heart cry out to the Lord without words. He hears and answers the prayers of the anguished heart.