Eli thought Hannah was drunk. The old priest was sure the young woman was unaware of what was happening around her. Eli noticed that she was moving her lips but making no sound. "Must you come here drunk?!" he demanded of her. "Throw away your wine!"
But Hannah hadn't been pouring things into herself… She'd actually been pouring things out. "Oh no, sir! I'm not drunk!" she said to Eli. "But I am very sad, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. Please don't think I am a wicked woman. For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow." (1 Sam 1:12-15)
I'm convinced that we don't pray like Hannah. It's been a constant problem throughout history. So much of a problem that even a priest didn't recognize Hannah's intense devotion in prayer to God.
Too often we are spiritual for the quick fix we can get out of it. We go to church to be poured into. We seek relationships to get poured into. We do things and drink things and buy things to get poured into. We think we can cover our anguish and our sorrow, or our emptiness and our fear, or our whims and temptations, by being poured into. We sing songs of worship so that we can get filled. We seek affirmation so that we can be filled.
Hannah took her soul and exposed it to God. How the process looked to others wasn't her immediate concern. Hannah was resolved to spill her guts to God… to fully pour herself out to the Lord… laying all of her barren self bare before God.
Hannah poured herself out. 1 Samuel 1:15
Jesus poured himself out. Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 26:28
I think there might be something truly spiritual about pouring ourselves out.