“Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the Lord. For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 26-28
Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had sons and daughters, and Hannah had no sons or daughters. Year after year, the family would go to the house of the Lord to worship and sacrifice to the Lord. Peninnah taunted Hannah because “the Lord closed her womb.”
We know in Chapter 2 of 1 Samuel that Hannah was a Godly woman, and this must have deeply hurt her. First, she wanted a son. Second, she wanted to please God. She must have asked, “God, why have You closed my womb?”
No doubt, Hannah had prayed for a son for years. Perhaps she prayed for a son, so that Peninnah would stop tormenting her. That was a small annoyance. A woman’s natural desire is to give birth to children. Hannah wanted a son to nurse at her breasts, to love, to satisfy her motherly desires.
The family had sons, sons of Elkanah and Peninnah. Yet, Hannah prayed for a son of her own. Hannah was focused on herself.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:3
One year, Hannah was so distraught that she wept and would not eat. Sitting by the doorpost of the temple, she poured her heart out to the Lord.
Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” 1 Samuel 1:11
Eli, the priest, saw her lips moving, but heard no words and accused her of being drunk. She told him her desire, and he told her, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition.” 1 Samuel 1:17
Hannah’s demeanor completely changed. She trusted the word of the priest as a word from God. She went home, ate, and was no longer sad.
Prayer of Dedication
Sitting near the doorpost of the temple crying out to the Lord, Hannah transformed her prayer into a prayer of dedication. She prayed for a son to give back to the Lord for a life of ministry. Now she was focused upon God. Her motives were right.
I had a season of desperate prayers for healing. There was no hope for healing except hope for a miracle from God. God gently brought me to the end of my hope in doctors and in myself, and my prayer changed. The night that I told God that I did not care about healing and all I wanted was more of Him, He healed me of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. God also gave me the desire of my heart … more of Him. That was November 21, 2010. God still heals.
Four Questions to Ask
Whatever your need is, God is there for you.
- Have you examined your prayers?
- What are the motives behind your prayers?
- Are you abiding in God’s Word, His will, in Jesus?
- Are you willing to give your fulfilled request back to God?
We pray for our needs, and yet, the greatest need we have is to sit at the feet of Jesus and behold His glory, His majesty, His provision. Whatever the need, give it back to Jesus to serve Him.
God has great plans for His children. They are good and better than we can imagine.
Father, thank You for Hannah’s story. We’ve prayed desperate prayers. Some for the wrong motives. Guide us in Your will. Give us Your wisdom. Turn our requests into ones that will glorify Your Name and bring honor to You. Amen.
Please share in the Comment Section how God has worked through your prayers.