Pour Out Your Prayer

Have you ever cried out to the Lord in such desperation, quite literally on your knees because you are too weak to do otherwise?

In today’s first reading Hannah is pouring out her troubles to the Lord in such a way that Eli thinks she is drunk. She is so desperate to have a son. She uses the words, “sorrow” and “misery” to describe her state of mind and heart. You can picture the anguish and destitution. What a scene it must have been for her loved ones.


I relate to this reading in that just a few years ago, we lost a baby. It wasn’t the first time, but it was different from before. I’ve written about this in a prior reflection, but I did not finish the story. Our family was devastated. Watching my own children grieve is quite possibly one of the hardest things I’ve experienced.

After mourning such a loss, one thing was certain. We longed for another baby in the house. Guilt trickled into parts of my heart because we had so many beautiful and healthy, thriving children. Many people do not. Were we asking too much? Bible verses filled my head about children being a blessing and ask and you shall receive. We were (and are) trying to live counter-cultural in our beliefs and practices.

Our then three-year-old daughter would stop at a statue of Mary after daily Mass and blow her a kiss and pray, “please help send us a baby sister.” There wasn’t a day she did not do this as we left the church. All of our children continually asked about a baby.

Like Hannah

After months and months of silent prayer, I became much like Hannah. I cried out in desperation, telling God I knew He knew best, and His will be done. If He did not send us a baby, could He please take away our desire for one! I knew in my heart of hearts God would do what He saw fit and either way it would be for His glory and our best. Knowing this and feeling this are not always the same thing.

Bearing a Cross

I was getting on in my child-bearing years and it was looking as though this might have been a cross we were going to have to bear. However, in His infinite mercy, God gave us a healthy pregnancy and then, baby girl.

She is the joy of our lives! She is everyone’s favorite and an answered prayer. As the psalmist said, “My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.”

The important lesson here is that my heart exults in the Lord regardless of how He answered this prayer. On January 3rd , the author wrote about gratitude in his reflection. And how God IS the gift (John 3:16-19).

He hears our prayers, and He answers them. Sometimes in ways that are mysterious. Other times in ways we cannot see. And even still, in obvious ways. That is the gift too.

[Readings: 1 Sm 1:9-20; Mk 1:21-28]

Joanne Huestis-Dalrymple

Joanne Huestis-Dalrymple is a freelance writer residing in Wake Forest, NC. She is a wife and mother of eight, plus two in heaven. Joanne coaches the St. Thomas More Academy swim team and is a member of the school’s CrossFit team. Joanne has a devotion to our Blessed Mother and she enjoys reading, writing, gardening and going on adventures with her big family.

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