Today, we’re going to look at Hannah’s prayer for a son.
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD. (1Sa 1:10-20)
Hannah was married to Elkanah. Elkanah had another wife named Peninnah. Peninnah had at least four children. Hannah had none. Peninnah harassed Hannah because of her inability to have children. Hannah was heartbroken over the situation. You know that Hannah’s prayer was answered, but what prayer principles did she demonstrate?
- She kept on worshipping the Lord, even though she was broken hearted.
- She kept on praying, even though the situation didn’t change for years.
- She was a woman of her word. God knew she would do what she promised him.
- God granted her request when doing so would bless her and the nation.
That last point is, I think, especially important. Hannah longed for a child. God wanted a leader for the nation of Israel. He granted her request when then answer met the need of the nation. This is the reason many of our prayers don’t get answered right away. God waits until the answer to our prayers bless more than just us. His timing is perfect. He waits until our heart is ready to yeild to His plan.
What About You?
- Have you grown bitter and distant from God because of a delayed answer to prayer?
- Are you willing to wait until the answer to your prayer is more than just a personal blessing?