The preacher thought she was drunk and scolded her for showing up at church under the influence of wine. Hannah quickly explained she wasn’t drunk. She was just that involved in her prayer. She said she was pouring her heart out to the Lord.
You and I have wants and needs. We struggle with the challenges of life. How well do we pray about those needs, wants, and challenges? Embarrassment or fear may stop us from praying, but the Bible reminds us there is no need to be embarrassed or afraid when talking with our Heavenly Father. We can be unashamed and persistent.
Talking about prayer, Jesus tells the story of a man who had an unexpected guest in the middle of the night. He runs to his refrigerator and its empty. He checks the pantry and only finds dust on a shelf. He has no food to offer his guest, so he runs to the neighbor’s house.
He wakes the neighbor at midnight by banging on the door. “Give me some food,” he says. “I’ve had an unexpected guest and have nothing to offer.” The man inside yells back, “Go away!”
But he keeps banging and banging until the man gets up and gives him what he needs for his guest.
Be Unashamed and Persistent
Jesus says in Luke 11:8, “But I tell you this, though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.”
You and I can be unashamed and persistent in our prayers.
The foodless man in Jesus’ story is unashamed to announce his problem. He has no shame in telling his neighbor what he needs. Nothing is hidden. The man lays everything before his neighbor in a shameless way.
Do you approach prayer in a shameless way? Do you lay everything before the Lord?
This can be hard at times. When we do something good, we have no problem talking with the Lord about it, but when we make mistakes, we’d rather not discuss those with our dad.
Talking about imperfections is hard. No one wants to admit he was a jerk. No one wants to admit she was cranky, but the Lord already knows. He knows you and I are not perfect, and he wants to help us grow.
“Dear friends, now we are children of God. We have not yet been shown what we will be in the future, but we know that when Christ comes again, we will be like him,” 1 John 3:2 reminds us.
Nothing is hidden from the Lord. Since he knows everything, you and I have nothing to hide. We can be unashamed in prayer. We can be honest with our feelings and ask the Lord to help us in every situation. Prayer is a safe place. Our Heavenly Dad desires to hear from us and will not be upset if we are unashamed in our conversation.
The foodless man did not accept no as an answer. His neighbor told him to go away, but he continued to knock until the man answered his request. His persistence paid off. He received food for his guest.
“Keep praying,” Jesus encourages.
“So, I tell you continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search and you will find. Continue to knock and the door will open for you. Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find, and whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them,” encourages Luke 11:9-10.
Don’t give up. Our Dad answers prayer in his timing.
Hannah was unashamed and persistent.
Hannah was so emotionally involved in her prayer she was accused of being drunk. 1 Samuel 1 records Hannah having a rough time in life. She was not afraid to talk with the Lord about her problem. She became so physically involved in her prayer it was thought she was under the influence. When questioned, Hannah explained, “I’m pouring my heart out before the Lord.”
Hannah was shameless and persistent in her prayer. How well do we pour our hearts out before the Lord? We do not have to be embarrassed or fearful before our dad in Heaven.
Our intimate conversations with him can be private. In fact, Jesus encourages us to pray in the closet. Pouring our hearts out before God can be a freeing, but vulnerable, experience, so we can do it in a private setting.
Are you angry? Tell the Lord.
Are you struggling? Tell the Lord.
Are you embarrassed by something in your life? Tell the Lord.
Anything else? Shamelessly tell the Lord. Persist in prayer.
The lyrics of an old hymn say, “What a friend we have in Jesus. What a privilege to carry everything to him in prayer.”
Want an Additional Resource?
Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado is a great resource on prayer.