Cry Out to God in Your Distress

Have there been times in your life when you needed to cry out to God in your distress?

In my life there have been plenty of times I’ve cried out to God in distress. I imagine you may be able to say the same. Perhaps those times occurred during this past year. Perhaps they occurred at some other time.

The prophet Samuel’s mother Hannah cried out to God in her distress. As Hannah prayed in the Lord’s temple, her lips moved but no words came out. Because of that, her actions were misinterpreted by Eli the priest. The priest wasn’t kind, either. In fact, he accused the poor distraught woman of being drunk in the Lord’s house.

Romans 8:26-27 tells us the Spirit comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray. The Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is, because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will.

I think when Hannah prayed that day, the Spirit interceded for her in groans words  could not express.

Although the priest got it all wrong and accused Hannah, God saw straight to her heart. God knew Hannah’s pain. He knew the injustice she endured at the hand of her husband’s other wife. God also knew he would grant Hannah’s request for a son. God  gave her Samuel.

Our actions may be misunderstood by others. They may misinterpret our distress. Conversely, we may misunderstand others actions and misinterpret their distress.

But the wonderful thing about all this is although others may misinterpret or condemn, God’s Spirit intercedes on our behalf. The Spirit takes our painful groans to the Father’s throne.

God sees the motives behind our actions. He hears when we cry out to him in our distress. He looks at us with grace. Not condemnation.

Like Hannah, we can take comfort in that fact.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

One time, after they had finished their meal in the house of the Lord at Shiloh, Hannah got up. She was deeply distressed, and she cried bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. Meanwhile, Eli the priest was sitting in his place by the door.  Hannah continued to pray to the Lord for a long time, and Eli watched her lips. She was praying silently; her lips were moving, but she made no sound. So Eli thought that she was drunk, and he said to her, “Stop making a drunken show of yourself. Stop your drinking and sober up!” “No, I’m not drunk, sir,” she answered. “I haven’t been drinking! I am desperate, and I have been praying, pouring out my troubles to the Lord. Don’t think I am a worthless woman. I have been praying like this because I’m so miserable.” 1 Samuel 1:10, 12-16 (GNT)

You can find my January Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.


Please sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Sunday Scriptures — Speak, For Your Servant Is Listening

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

During a recent study of 1 Samuel 3 which records God’s call on the prophet Samuel’s life, I thought about an incident that happened in the early 1970s when a friend and I attended the opening of a new shopping center.

As we walked through the shopping center, a 6 foot tall Squirrel called out my friend’s name. (Think Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit. No. Hallucinogenics were not involved.)

My friend looked my direction. I shrugged. It wasn’t me.

Not sure what was going on, we kept walking.

I should probably mention the name of the shopping center was Walnut Grove; so it made perfect sense to have a 6 foot Squirrel as their mascot walking around talking to people, but it did not make sense that the Squirrel knew my friend’s name.

The Squirrel followed, and called out again.

When we stopped, and turned toward the Squirrel she explained who she was. She and my friend knew each other in elementary school.

It was rather unsettling for my friend, and humorous to me, to have a Squirrel calling after him, and following us through the shopping center. He wasn’t expecting it, and didn’t really know how to respond. So he did what made sense to him. He tried to get away.

When God called Samuel as he slept, Samuel wasn’t expecting it, and didn’t really know how to respond. He did what made sense to him. He went to see what Eli, the priest, needed. Only Eli was not the one who called the boy.

After the third time God called Samuel, Eli figured out who called Samuel, and told him to go lie back down, and if God called him again Samuel was to say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

And that’s exactly what Samuel did.

There may be times when God calls us to do something for him, but we don’t recognize his voice. Or if we do, we don’t want to listen to what God has to say, and we walk away.

One of the commentators I read during my study of this part in Samuel’s life said:

Trying to hear God’s call in our lives can be like trying to hear a conversation in a busy room full of people. He’s speaking, but the clutter of noise and distractions around us means we aren’t hearing much of what he says. We need to be intentional about carving out time and space in our lives to listen to God.

When God calls us, we need to be like Samuel and say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

How are you intentional in carving out time and space in your life to listen to God?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Then the Lord called Samuel.

Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. …

A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:4-5, 8-10

I wish you well.


Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!