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The deep cry of our hearts

I was thinking about things I see happening in our local church and my town and I was often discouraged and I had a deep sorrow in my heart. I've kept hungering for more from God and thirsting increasingly after His presence. I've kept dreaming about a transformed society in this town and awaiting a revival. It's so interesting because a few weeks ago I read Hannah's story in the Bible and I was touched by the story. Afterwards God spoke to me exactly from the same story through Corey Russell's book about prayer. So I'll put these things into this post, because I instantly knew God wants to highlight these things. 

Despite the disappointment and pain caused by the fact that she was barren, Hannah insisted and continued to bring the deepest desire of her heart before God. Right from the beginning of the book of 1 Samuel we meet two wives, very different from each other. One had children, and the other didn’t...

“There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim…he had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.” (1 Samuel 1:1a-2 NLT)

At that time in history the value of a woman was primarily in her ability to bring children into the world and her infertility made her worthless.
 
Now this man would go up from his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the Lord there. When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters; but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. It happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. (v.3-7)

These verses show that when the whole family went to Shiloh to worship God, Elkanah proved that he had a special love for Hannah. Despite the fact that she was barren, she was cherished by her husband, who gave her a chosen portion of the offering. As years were passing Hannah remained childless and she looked at Penninah whose family was growing. It was like between a rock and a hard place. On one side was her rival humiliating and mocking her, and on the other side was God who didn't intervene to remove her bareness. Finally, after trying to run away from her pain or trying to ignore it, something moved deep in her being. In that moment she stood face to face with the bitter reality of her life and we are told that each time she was "reduced to tears and would not even eat". In Matthew 5:3 it says that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those poor in spirit. God intentionally puts us between a rock and a hard place and waits till our power is exhausted, until ruin and despair bring out of the depths of our beings a cry of prayer. Seeing Hannah's condition, Elkanah like a good husband tried to calm her.

“Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?” (v.8)

Hannah's response is the prove of her despair and of her heart's burning desire. Her pain couldn't be kept silent anymore and her actions were justified by her response: "No, your love isn't enough. I'm barren."

"after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “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, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut." (v.9-11)


Hannah started praying; she wept and fasted, suffering bitterly because she didn't have children. Then a new prayer rose inside of her: "Lord, if you'll give me a son, I will give him to You. He will be a Nazarite and he'll live all the days of his life before You, in Your Temple." This wasn't an attempt to bribe or persuade God to give her a son. When she penetrated through to that deep place of prayer, Hannah gave up her control of the situation. She put all her dreams of a child before God and she fully submitted to Him. Eli was thinking she is drunk, but after she explained him everything, he blessed her. A year after this incident she gave birth to a son, Samuel. Everyone knows how God used this man on earth. 

Nowadays there are two types of Christians, in the same way as there were two types of wives in this narrative. On one hand there are those Christians, who have children- those who experience God's blessings in their lives. They are happy and in a certain way fruitful. They have good jobs, wonderful children and have excellent Bible studies. On the other hand, there are also Christians like Hannah- who were marked with an unquenchable hunger for more. Even if they are loved, forgiven, blessed and redeemed, they ache for the condition of their present lives, their churches and the nation they live in. As Hannah tried to forget her ache, other such Christians try to quite their fiery desire to see God's intervention. But God will create divine settings to lead them through tense decades till they are ready to confront their barrenness. Often in the most painful periods of life Jesus will reveal Himself to us and will show us the way out. Just as Elkanah did, He will give us His love and give us a chance to live our Christianity as before. "You have My love, I have made available to you all that's mine, you have been blessed with all kinds of blessings- isn't that enough?" It's as if God gives us the chance to breathe out relived, but waits to see what we do after that. However what He truly desires is to hear our cry: "Give us sons and daughters; give us a generation of prophets that they might shake and overthrow things in our nation." Will we accept those places of hurt and will we start to intercede? Someone has to cry out before God.

I really think God will awaken a generation of people, people who aren't satisfied with the status quo, like Hannah, who are carrying in them, since a long time ago, an always growing ache. Although they are thankful for all the blessings they received, THEY WANT MORE!

"Lord, thank You for the gifts which come from Your hands, but I want to see Your face. Take away the barrenness from my life and give me the spirit of prophecy. Only a new revival can satisfy the consuming passion of my heart, which desires to see the restoration of the apostolic Gospel in my country."


The Spirit will rest upon the whole city, that examines the people and makes them aware of their sins, makes them fall into the arms of the Father who loves them passionately, and then we will see thousands of people being saved in a moment. The leaders will utter words of authority and anointing. This can only happen through prayer. The prophetic silence is broken only through passionate intercession. Because God highlighted these things in my heart I knew I had to take a step and form a group of fiery people who want to cry out for "the more" God has in store for us here and now. That's how the "Prayer on Aish Prayer Room in Sighisoara" got born. As you know "AISH" means more than just fire, but can also mean 'light' or 'flame' and it is used in phrases like 'flame of romance' and 'flame of memory'. That's what we want to be famous for (memory): those who passionately pray with a flame of romance for their Bridegroom- King. God doesn't want religious prayers. He longs for the deepest parts of our lives. He wants a deep sigh to be heard, that unveils and purifies the heart. Only after we get tired of fighting with our own strength, we become desperate and dependent on Him, then He can entrust us with His promises being fulfilled.

“Sing, O childless woman, you who have never given birth!
Break into loud and joyful song, you who have never been in labor.
For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband,”
    says the Lord. (Isaiah 54:1)
 

The aches of barrenness and the reality of the deep cry of our hearts prepare us to carry the burden of that "MORE" which we long for.

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