Desperate Times Call for Desperate Prayers

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Prayers

Have you ever had to lift up a desperate prayer? Throughout the Bible, we see people in desperate situations seek God through prayer. In today's video, we'll look at the desperate prayer of Hannah in the Bible, and God's response to her so that we may learn more about prayer in our own desperate situations. Enjoy!


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Sometimes life can throw us such challenging situations that we feel as if we have no choice but to pray. Life is like that isn’t it. Its twists, turns and uncertainty remind us of our lack of control and usher in some of our most intense and desperate prayers. Some say desperate times call for desperate measures. But what if there is nothing you can do and there are no measures to take? The situation is completely out of your hands. Well it’s then I like to say, desperate times call for desperate prayers. 

Have you ever had to lift up a desperate prayer? Throughout the Bible, we see people in desperate need seek God through prayer. In today’s video, I want to take a closer look at a woman in the Bible who prayed a desperate prayer and what we can learn from her and God’s response to her. 

Her name is Hannah and she faced a desperate time that required a desperate prayer. Hannah was the mother of the prophet Samuel. Before she gave birth to Samuel, she was thought barren and it hurt her that she was unable to have children. She faced her own insecurities as a wife with no children, but she also faced ridicule for it as well. As pressure surmounted about her unanswered prayer request, she took matters to the Lord in a desperate prayer. In 1 Samuel 1:10-11, we read:

 “She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” (1 Samuel 1:10-11 ESV)

Hannah’s desperation has softened her heart to God's plan. She went from wanting a child to wanting a child she would give to God. Our desperate situations have a way of changing our perspective and causing us to surrender our will to God’s. In our desperation, our prayer expands beyond our desires and touches the desire of God as our prayers become less about us and more about Him. Desperate prayers are not just asking God repeatedly for what we want, hoping that if we pray hard enough, we’ll get what we want. Desperate prayers reflect a surrender to God’s will and acceptance of what His plan may be. As Hannah continued to pray, the Prophet Eli saw her. She was praying so desperately he thought Hannah was drunk. In 2 Samuel 1:14-16, we read:

“And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.”” (1 Samuel 1:14-16 ESV)

First Hannah surrendered to God, then she promised out her soul before the Lord. She’s doing what we’re instructed to do in Philippians 4:6 that tells us to pray when we are anxious and 1 Peter 5:7 that tells us to:

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)

In our desperate times, there is a pouring out and a casting. It’s not holding in all our feelings and emotions trying our best to act as if they don’t exist. It’s being real with God about what we want, what’s hurting us, and what’s troubling us. Your feelings, wants and desires matter to God because He cares for you. 

I love how Hannah doesn’t only pray for what she wants, but she also prays over the challenges she is facing until her prayer is answered. She takes her stress and anxiety to God as well because she knows He can handle that too, she believes the God she is waiting on can help her though the waiting. She doesn’t just pray for what she wants and that’s it, she prays through the entire journey.  I think that’s what desperate prayers are; an invitation for God to journey with us as we realize we don’t have to walk alone.

Just the other day I was looking through some 15 year old prayer journals. In one journal, I was going through a difficult time and I prayed over the situation everyday whether it was a good day or a struggle day. And I needed that, to keep praying and reminding myself that although I was not where I wanted to be or had what I wanted to have, God was with me. Our desperate prayers remind us that God walks with us. 

And although Hannah may not have had what she wanted at the time, she did have God. And in her desperation, she did the best thing to do during times like that: she clung to Him.

Now before Hannah went to God in prayer, she was depressed, distraught and the Bible tells us she was so sad she was not even eating. With that in mind, listen to what she does after her desperate prayer. 1 Samuel 1:18 tells us: 

“Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.” (1 Samuel 1:18 ESV) 

Sounds like to me this prayer didn’t just change Hannah’s situation, but it changed her. That’s what prayer has the power to do. If we fast forward, we learn that God does answer Hannah’s prayer, but we would be remiss if we overlooked the fact that God changed her heart well before her situation changed. That’s what prayer is all about. 

I don’t know what desperate situation you are praying for today, but I do know it’s important not to only be desperate for our prayer to simply be answered, but to be desperate for the God who answers prayers. What if Hannah received all she wanted but was still depressed and distraught? Even in our desperation, we must never forget the peace that God grants no matter how desperate times get. 

Now I’d love to hear from you Beloved. Have you ever had to pray a desperate prayer?  Are you praying one now? Let's lift one another up in the comments. 


If you are interested in learning more about prayer and how prayer can become a natural, consistent, and fruitful part of your everyday life, I want to give you my free 5-day prayer guide that walks you through the Lord’s prayer to unlock the power of prayer in your life today. Click the link in the description of this video to download today for free. 

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As always, thank you so much for watching and until next time, be beautiful, be blessed, and be loved.