Pray For Me: A Shared Burden

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Samuel 1:17-18 (NIV)
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.

1 Samuel 1:17-18 (MSG)
Eli answered her, “Go in peace. And may the God of Israel give you what you have asked of him.” “Think well of me—and pray for me!” she said, and went her way. Then she ate heartily, her face radiant.
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“Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.” Hannah said, “Let your maidservant find grace and favor in your sight.” So the woman went on her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.” -AMPLIFIED

Yesterday we addressed the desperateness of the heartbroken Hannah. She had approached the tabernacle, the House of God, and she poured out every hurt and pain to The Lord of Hosts.

She may have thought that she was alone, but she was not. Scripture tells us someone was watching her. “It so happened that as she continued in prayer before God, Eli was watching her closely. Hannah was praying in her heart, silently. Her lips moved, but no sound was heard. Eli jumped to the conclusion that she was drunk. He approached her and said, “You’re drunk! How long do you plan to keep this up? Sober up, woman!” -1 Samuel 1:12-14 (MSG)

Hannah’s reply to Eli over his accusation of her possible drunkenness was this, “Oh no, sir—please! I’m a woman hard used. I haven’t been drinking. Not a drop of wine or beer. The only thing I’ve been pouring out is my heart, pouring it out to God. Don’t for a minute think I’m a bad woman. It’s because I’m so desperately unhappy and in such pain that I’ve stayed here so long.” -1 Samuel 1:15-16 (MSG)

We will find that Eli’s response to Hannah’s pain was not one of inquisitiveness, but one of support. This man of God did not ask her WHAT her “problem” was, but instead he allowed her to pour out her soul and then gave her the support that she needed. His words to her were just this, “Go in peace. And may the God of Israel give you what you have asked of him.” -1 Samuel 1:17 (MSG)

Hannah’s reply was this, “Think well of me—and pray for me!” she said, and went her way. Then she ate heartily, her face radiant.” -1 Samuel 1:18 (MSG)

Notice something, as soon as Hannah had shared her need with God and found someone who was willing to accept the fact that she HAD a need her burden felt lighter. The Apostle Paul touches on the need of sharing others burdens. He reminds us to, “Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love].” -Galatians 6:2 (AMP)

Burden sharing is expected from the child of God for many reasons:
1.) We are to be like Jesus, and Jesus’ love reached out and had compassion.
2.) By being a burden bearer we support and encourage the person in need.
3.) In turn, we are growing spiritually by reaching out and helping others.

There is this saying that fits our theme of the day, “A burden shared is a burden halved.” -UNKNOWN

We must remember something though, Hannah first took her burden to God and then she shared it with a trusted person. She did not pour her hurt and pain on everyone; only on God. To Eli she just shared that she had been pouring her heart out to God. He listened and heard the pain in her voice; he had no need to know what her pain was all about. Her heart cried, “Pray for me.” Eli’s response was, “God in peace.” He would remember this woman in need.

Let us notice the signs of relief that Hannah felt once she gave her burden to God and shared it with another. She was relieved! She went away and was once again able to eat. (How often can you say that stress and heavy burdens have robbed you of your appetite?) We are told that Hannah’s face was shining; no longer was she sad.

Have you taken time to relieve someone else’s burden lately? Just a kind word is a BIG help. You don’t need to know what the reason for the burden is; just take time to speak words of encouragement and pray with them. God knows the need and God is going to take care of it.

My Prayer:
Lord, help me to share the burden’s that others may be carrying. I want to be helpful, encouraging, and a good friend. Help me to be prayerfully and watchfully looking for ways that I can help serve those around me. Let my eyes be like your eyes, looking for those who I can touch with your love and show your compassion. Use me to further your kingdom, Lord Jesus.

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