Perhaps one reason for some of the barrenness in our prayer life is because we are not like Hannah. Hannah was barren and prayed to God for the ability to give birth to a child. In her anguish Hannah prayed, “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime.” (I Samuel 1:11) Hannah was willing to give to God the answer to her prayer – a son - before he was even conceived. Giving the answer to her prayer to God with that condition set in motion the birth of her first-born son, Samuel.
Some of the barrenness in our prayer life comes because we want to hold on to the answer to our prayers. We try to keep them close and protected, raising them like an only child we mistakenly think was birthed to fulfill our perceived needs. Only in the hands of God is an answered prayer ever safe. An overly protected child is like an overly protected answer to prayer. It manifests a lack of trust in the parent.
As you begin to pray in 2016 utter prayers that sound like something Hannah would pray– “Lord, if you grant this request, I will give the answer back to you for your service and safekeeping. Before I receive the answer to my prayer I release it back into your hands to accomplish your will.” This kind of prayer carries with it supernatural potential because only in the hands of God can the answer to our prayers fulfill a greater destiny and, in the end, actually satisfy the deepest desires of our heart.