My wonderful Blog Friend Karina is doing a series on Women of Faith. As we have communicated back and forth, it was decided I would do a post about Hannah.
Have you ever wanted something so deeply that your soul was troubled? Many years ago my husband and I wanted a second child, but it did not happen. I frequently turned to Samuel 1 to pray, and for peace and comfort, knowing God would answer my prayer in His way, in His time.
The full text of the Scripture is 1 Samuel 1:1-19, but I have only reprinted verses 2 and 10-19 below.
2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “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. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
18 She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.
19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
Hannah’s prayer is an example of how to talk to God. We are to talk to him from our heart. Just tell God what is truly on your mind. Notice in verse 15 Hannah tells Eli that she was “pouring out her soul.” God wants us to give Him our whole heart, even when our heart is hurting. Hannah went to God for peace and comfort. Sometimes our soul hurts and the only person than can soothe us is God Himself.
Notice also that Hannah’s prayer was sharply focused. How often do our prayers go from one subject to another? Hannah talked to God earnestly about the primary issue on her heart.
Hannah’s prayer is also an expression of her faith. She knew that only God could answer her request. She was not bitter toward God, she was saddened by her condition. If she was bitter toward God she would not have gone to God in prayer.
Hannah was blessed by the priest Eli, and she went in peace. But it was God who answered her prayer. God answers our prayers too. We don’t always see our prayers answered the way we want them, like Hannah did. God’s ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8), but we can count on God to respond to sincere prayers, and bless us in ways we could not have planned.
Eventually God answered my prayer for a child. He continues to bless me by answering many other prayers; some the way I expect, and some in ways I did not expect. But in every answer, God shows me the depth of His incredible love.
Blessings on your day.