Why We Worship In Between the Prayers and the Answers
There was something Hannah wanted more than anything in the world—a baby. So much so that she went to the temple to beg God for a son. This wasn’t just a prayer she recited, a long shot, a God, I sort of kind of want this prayer. No. “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly” (1 Samuel 1:10).
I can imagine Hannah on her knees crying and praying. I imagine it was an ugly cry—the kind that distorts your face, turns your skin blotchy red, causes bags to swell under your eyes and snot to run down your face. Eli, the priest, noticed Hannah praying—her tears and her lips moving without sound—and confronted her thinking she was drunk.
She wasn’t drunk; she was desperate and hurting.
Hannah explained to him that she was there pouring out her soul before the Lord (1 Samuel 1:15). That was all the explanation Eli needed, he understood. He understood her longing and her pain and her desire for a son. He replied, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him” (v. 17). And she left.
But it’s what Hannah did the next morning that really speaks to me. The morning AFTER pouring her heart out, begging for a son, but BEFORE God visibly moved even an inch on her behalf. She went back to the temple and worshipped the Lord.
Hannah didn’t wait until God did as she asked to worship Him, she did so right there in the in-between.
Maybe you’re stuck in that in-between. Maybe you’ve been pouring out your heart for so long that you no longer have tears to cry. Maybe you’ve just begun to pray but you're not sure what to do next.
I think Hannah gives us the answer. You worship.
Worshipping in the in-between shows trust in God, that no matter what happens (or doesn’t) you will worship. It displays faith that even while you wait, God is working ALL things together for your good. It reveals who God is, that even though you have not yet received what you long for (and may never), He is still worthy of worship.
If you find yourself in the in-between—the space after the prayers but before the answers—may the Holy Spirit give you strength to lift your heart and hands in worship like Hannah.