PRAYER FROM THE HEART: Prayer to Receive the Fruit of the Womb. (Part 2)

Child of God if you have been praying for the gift of a child, and in fact any special need at all, you must start praying like Hannah otherwise nothing happens because prayers from the heart does not contradict Divine Will. Prayers from the heart reveals what God wants for you and not what you want for yourself. Prayers from the heart connects you to God's favour and fills you with everlasting satisfaction and hope. Is this too deep to understand? If it's too deep you need to pause a while, go back and read the last part of the ministration titled: THE ABSURDITY AND RADICALITY OF HANNAH'S PRAYER, after that come back and continue reading.

If you already understand this then proceed to know how to pray from the heart. First, read slowly to see how Hannah prayed and then learn what it means to pray from the heart: 1Sam.1:12-20)

As she [Hannah] kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine". “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time, Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”

Have you seen how scripture describes the way she prayed: her lips were moving but her voice was not heard! Do you think this experience is an emotional one- of a woman in anguish? No, it's not. She was praying from the heart. Now read slowly (Rom. 8: 25-26)

"But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."

POINTS FOR REFLECTION AND PRAYER
To anyone who does not understand the things of the spirit, Hannah's experience would be interpreted as sheer emotivity. But if you are in the Spirit the following lines will get you praying.

1. Praying from the heart or in the Spirit: It means 'not you praying but the Spirit praying in you.' Hence you don't have control over yourself because the Spirit of God has taken over. The Spirit of God prays according to God's will because of its searches the depths of everything: both the depths of your heart and the depths of God (1Cor. 2: 10-11). Hence the Spirit's request cannot contradict God's will, such that even when God's Will seems humanly difficult to accept, you can't resist but accept. No wonder when Jeremiah sensed difficulties in continuing the mission entrusted to him and wanted to abandon it, he couldn't because he sensed something profound and exclaimed: your Word is like fire in my bones, and I cannot resist it (Jer.20:9). St. Paul had a similar experience in accepting the will of God and begged God severally, but all he heard is "My grace is enough for you, My power is made manifest the more in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9). Jesus wanted the cup to pass him by for he was filled with anguish and sweated blood. He pleaded with the Father, but the Spirit prayed in him, he submitted to the Will of his father (Mk.14:36).

2. Praying from the heart means being drunk in the Spirit: Scripture tells us that Elkanah sensed Hannah's prayer as drunkenness. The moment you start praying from the heart or acting by the Spirit, you will appear strange to those in the flesh (those St. Paul called unspiritual men). They will perceive you as someone who has lost sanity or soberness. No one but the Spiritual person can interpret your actions (1Cor.2:13-14). But Hannah replied, "No I am a woman in great distress, I am not drunk." Her reply anticipates what St. Paul would tell the Ephesians when he says "Don't be drunk with wine but be filled with the Holy Spirit" (Ephe. 5:18).

3. Resist unwise remarks: Since those who are not in the Spirit cannot understand what you are going through, you MUST resist them: family members, friends, neighbors, etc, and all who make you see a poor self-image of your condition. The way God sees you is more important: men look at the appearance of the present state of affairs and conclude, but God sees the heart and your future. I have written elsewhere, that you become what you think! If you see yourself as childless, barren, etc, so shall it be for you. Resist also the "temptation of delay or counting time" that reminds you that you have been praying for years! The way you consider "time" is not the way God sees time! Rather persist in Prayer like the undeterred Syrophoenician woman in the gospel (Matt.15: 21-28). Hold your broken heart with prayers! Only with prayers can you hold it, otherwise you lose it!
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Preoccupy your heart by answering the questions raised in the previous session through prayer: Why do you want a child? What kind of child do you want? Hannah knew about the story of Samson as a child of Promise, but she asked for something greater: a child of prayer! She asked for a child that opened again the door of revelation and vision that was closed by the abominable sins of the people of Israel. Secret clue: God's blessings normally have universal character-it benefits everyone not just the person blessed!

4. Confirm your prayers and Requests: We are told Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him." The role of prayer of the Priest is important to confirm your healing. This is a Divine Command (Lev.13:2, 14:4) because from the mouth of the priest cometh knowledge and everyone should seek it for he is a messenger of God (Mal.2:7). The knowledge (logos) meant here is the Word of God which is God Himself (John1:1). Hence Jesus obeys this when he heals the ten lepers (Lk.5:14). The mouth of a priest is anointed to prophesy, hence when Caiphas (the Chief Priest) was advising the Jews that it would be good for one man to die for the people, (John 8:14) he did not know he was prophesying that Jesus was to die for all (John 11:50). In the same way, Eli did not know he was prophesying over Hannah's situation and confirming her healing. I take authority from the power of my ordination and prophesy on the very words that you are reading now that it will fill you with the Power of God and begin to cause spontaneous healing in your life now in Jesus' name. Amen. I CONFIRM YOUR HEALING AND FRUITFULNESS NOW IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, + AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Amen.

5. Let it happen to me according to your word: We are told Hannah responded: "May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Her response reminds us of Mary's response to the declaration of the Word of God in her life and she immediately conceived Jesus by the Power of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 1: 38). Now repeat 7 times like Mary and Hannah: LET IT HAPPEN TO ME ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF GOD. I pray for you: It shall happen in your life in Jesus' name. Amen.
And we are told, Hannah left the temple, and when she was at the table, she ate something and was no longer downcast. She went away happy and transformed! That is what praying from the heart does,  it transforms you. Hannah went before her scorner Penninah no longer sensing sorrows nor pains, then she ate something. Sorrows blocked the stomach and appetite but joy opens it up. Child of God, don't be locked up in depression, it kills faster than you think. Happiness makes your organs and entire being to come alive! Hannah's final experience reminds us of what Psalm 23:5 says: God shall prepare a table for you in the presence of your enemies- those who have scorned you will be alive to see how God elevates you and blesses you again in Jesus name. Amen.

TASK: As you pray today make a resolution never to see yourself the way the world sees you but the way God sees you. This is very important for your well being and happiness. Stay happy always, look good, eat well and enjoy your time with your spouse and wait like Habbakuk on your battlement tower waiting to see what reply God shall give to your demands. (Hab.2:1)

©Fr. Simone Madu, OSJ

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