When a deep cry forms in the hearts of God’s people, what is the Lord’s response? I believe the answer is found in the book of First Samuel. God allows a holy desperation to come not only into the nation, but into the hearts of those He will use to call the people back to Himself. In this case, it was a barren woman named Hannah.

“And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefor she wept and did not eat. Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? And why eatest thou not? And why is thy heart grieved? Am I not better to thee than ten sons? So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore” (1 Samuel 1:6-10).

Here we see Hannah at a place of holy desperation—a place where many of us are today. Note that this desperation differs from that of the world living apart from God. People without God are crying out as circumstances begin to overwhelm them and as despair and hopelessness fill their hearts. We, on the other hand, are not a people without hope. Nevertheless, there is a deep cry forming within many of God’s people.

The Bible tells us that Hannah eventually reached a point of desperation where she could not even form words anymore. I have experienced that in my own prayer time—where I come to a point of simply having nothing left to say. But it is in those moments, just as it says in Romans, that “the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).

A God-breathed holy desperation has come into your heart, and it is no accident that it is happening at this particular moment. It is evidence that God desires to do something in and through you.

Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. A strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world.