One of my practices this Lent has been to hunt down the examples of women within the Bible who are actively praying, serving, and sharing the good news with others around them. These actions are the work of the Daughters, and worthy of contemplation and emulation. For the first portion of my study, I decided to begin with “Pray.” The word “pray” comes up hundreds of times within the Bible. The first time that it appears in the context of a woman performing the action, however, is in the book of 1 Samuel, when Hannah goes to the temple, heartbroken and ridiculed, to pray for a son. In her grief, she was mistaken for being drunk by Eli the priest, and when he rebuked her for her actions, Hannah replied,
Not so, my lord…I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer, I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.
What a beautiful wording of sentiment: “I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.” In times of great grief and sorrow, we pour out our souls to the Lord.
A Collect for Hannah’s Visit to the Temple
Lord of mercy, you listened to Hannah as she poured out her soul to you, and then blessed her with a son. Bless those who feel empty and whose prayers seem impossible, for you will fill them with the possible. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.