1 Samuel 1:9-17,18, 20
1 Samuel 2:1-10
Prayer of Petition
Hannah experienced depression. Her husband, Elkanah, had taken a second wife, Peninnah who had given him children. Hannah had not been as blessed.
Elkanah and his whole household made the trip to the Temple at Shiloh for the feast days. He would give portions of meat to Peninnah and to his sons and daughters. He gave a double portion to Hannah. Peninnah’s taunting and provoking caused Hannah great sadness to the point she couldn’t eat.
On one particular visit, Hannah felt bereft of emotion; she went to the altar and entered a season of prayer. She was bitter in her soul and prayed from her heart. She petitioned God to give her a son. If He would answer her plea, she would give that son to the LORD all his life.
Eli, the priest saw Hannah at the altar and made a snap judgment. He didn’t inquire of her about her need. He accused her of being drunk.After Hannah defended herself and explained why she was praying, Eli told her to “Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
Elkanah and his household returned home the next day. “In the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son.”
Hannah had a husband who loved her but he didn’t understand why she was so unhappy. He wasn’t the target of Peninnah’s taunting. He didn’t understand how Hannah felt about her inability to bear children. In Biblical times, a woman’s worth was based on her being married and whether she bore children.
Hannah’s pleading to the Lord shows us how desperate she was. For whatever reason, her husband had taken a second wife. Peninnah didn’t have the condition that Hannah had-she gave Elkanah several children. Hannah must have had to live under the same roof with Elkanah, Peninnah and those children, always being reminded of her circumstance.
When Hannah’s son was born, she named him Samuel- which, in Hebrew, sounds like ‘heard of God.’
Until Samuel was weaned Hannah stayed home from Shiloh and cared for him. She told Elkanah that when he was old enough, she would take Samuel to Shiloh and present him before God and leave him to live out his days in service to the Lord.
Hannah’s prayer of petition teaches us
*to pray persistently
*to pray expecting an answer
*to pray when we are fearful
*to pray when we are in grief
*to wait on Him to act on our behalf.
Prayer of Praise
Hannah rejoiced in her heart. God has empowered her; she feels strong and is highly pleased because He delivered her. She feels God has no equal-no one to compare to in holiness or strength.
She warns her detractors to not speak arrogance because God knows and He weighs our deeds. He destroys the weapons of the enemy and strengthens the ones who struggle. Matthew Henry tells us, “Hannah didn’t have to get even with Peninnah.” Actually, there was no way she could.
Those who had enough to eat become greedy but those who hungered lack nothing.
The Lord God holds life and death in His hands. He sends poverty and wealth. He elevates the poor and lifts those who are needy and grieving from the depths of despair.
Our Lord brings relief to those who confess their need. He will lead the saints through their walk with Him but, also, deal with the evil ones.
The people don’t conquer by being strong.
Those who choose to stand against the Lord will be broken; God will have the last say in all deeds done by His people and creation. His judgment will encompass the entire earth. He will strengthen and consecrate His Chosen One.
Hannah gave praise to God from her heart. She expressed her thanks to God, recognizing her deliverance from her need.
Several years ago, I led a session of a Bible Study on Hannah. I have counted her as one of my favorite Bible women ever since. Each time I study her, she teaches me something else.
*to give praise and thanksgiving for answered prayer
*to keep in mind how God will deal with the aspects of my life
*I belong to Him and He gives me all things I possess.
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