Christian Living
The Prayer of Brokenness
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Sep 7, 2023

jgc 24


Read 1 Samuel 1:1-20.

If you want to be whole in God's Kingdom, you must be willing to be broken. God blesses the broken spirit.

Hannah knew there was only one who could meet her desperate need.

In the first chapter of 1 Samuel, we come to a prayer of brokenness from a woman named Hannah. Out of her prayer will come a man who will influence the course of history in a mighty way—a man who will anoint the king from whose lineage the Savior of the world will be born.

The name Hannah means "favored," but Hannah didn't feel favored at all. She felt broken due to her inability to conceive a child. We read in 1 Samuel 1:10, "In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly."

We should pay close attention to several aspects of Hannah's prayer. First, we should note that this is the first prayer of a woman ever recorded in the Bible. I'm sure that there were many faithful women who prayed before Hannah, women whose prayers are not recorded in Scripture. And I'm sure we would be astonished at the incredible works God has done in answer to their prayers. In fact, I can tell you that I am a follower of Christ and a servant of Christ because God answered the prayers of my mother. And I can tell you that her prayers were anguished prayers, prayers of brokenness, because I, as a young man, was far from God and was breaking her heart.

A second aspect of Hannah's prayer to note is that it was silent. Her lips moved, but she made no sound. She wasn't praying to be eloquent. She was praying out of her deep anguish and brokenness.

Third, as Hannah prays, she makes no attempt to draw attention to herself. Hannah was not trying to impress anyone or manipulate emotions or gain sympathy. She knew there was only one who could meet her desperate need. There was only one who could do the impossible. And He is the one who hears all prayers—even prayers prayed in silence.

God hears our prayers, expressed in groaning too deep for words. These are the prayers of brokenness, and He delights in answering these prayers. God is going to use Hannah's brokenness to bless her—and to bless the entire world in all generations.

Prayer: Thank You that You are close to the brokenhearted. Thank You that You know my deepest longings and that Your love gives me comfort—Your Gospel, hope. I bring my brokenness to You today, knowing that in You alone am I made whole. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18).

*This devotional adapted from Life-Changing Prayers by Michael Youssef © 2018. Published by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission.

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Life-Changing Prayers, Part 5: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW