“God, if You give me a son, I’ll give him back to You to serve You all the days of his life.”
This was Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 1:11.
Have you pleaded with God? Really agonized in your prayer?
I suppose that Hannah and Elkanah, her Levite husband, prayed for a child.
Pleaded … agonized …prayed … fasted. No child.
Peninnah, Elkanah’s second, wife saw that it hurt Hannah deeply that she could not have children.
Look at my children. I’ve been able to give Elkanah many children, but God has shut up your womb. What great sin have you done?
Year after year, Peninnah would harass Hannah as they traveled to Shiloh to give God their tithe, sacrifice, and enjoy a great feast.
Although Elkanah gave Hannah a double portion, she was so distraught that she couldn’t eat. She just wept.
After supper, she walked to the tabernacle, and poured out her heart to the Lord. Eli, the high priest was sitting beside the doorpost and watched her.
She wept bitterly and prayed.
And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” 1 Samuel 1:11
Wait! She wants a son so badly that she can’t eat, and yet, she’s willing to give him back to the Lord?
Have you been there?
Hannah’s whole body shook. Her lips formed her prayer, but her words were silent.
“You’re drunk,” Eli yelled. “Put away your wine!
“I’m not drunk. I’m deeply troubled and have poured out my soul to the Lord.“
Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” 1 Samuel 1:17
Hannah left in peace and ate.
She believed her prayer reached God, and that nothing was impossible for God.
Have you pleaded with the Lord about something that has broken your heart and crushed your spirit?
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
Maybe you can’t feel the Lord near you. But this verse promises that He is near.
God was near Hannah. He is near you.
She went away at peace and ate.
Within the year, God gave her Samuel. His name means “heard of God.”
Hannah breastfed young Samuel until he was weaned, about three years. Can you see little Samuel, wobbly legs, laughing eyes, long hair?
I imagine Hannah stroking Samuel’s uncut hair, smiling, and praying, “Thank You, Lord, for this beautiful child. He’s Yours. I look forward to watching this child grow up to be the wonderful man of God that You are forming.”
Time to go to Shiloh and worship the Lord. Time to present Samuel to the Lord.
Hannah and Elkanah present Samuel to Eli, and they bow down to the Lord and worship Him together.
And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart rejoices in the LORD; My horn [strength] is exalted in the LORD. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:1-2
What if you were to pray these two verses and personalized them?
What is your heart rejoicing in the Lord?
Has the Lord made you strong, and are you praising Him?
Can you smile at your enemies because you are rejoicing in God’s salvation?
Do you recognize the holiness of God … there is none like Him?
How is He the rock that you are standing upon?
My heart rejoices in the Lord. Lord, I rejoice in You and what you are doing in my life. I have dear sisters to study Your Word with. to pray with. and to be blessed by. You have given me food to eat, clean water to drink, and a home to enjoy. My heart rejoices in You. My horn, my strength, is exalted in the LORD. Lord, You have given me the strength to walk this Christian walk. Sometimes, it’s uphill, but You alone have given me strength. I smile at my enemies. Father, I do have enemies, but You have said that the battle is Yours. You have also told me that I should pray for my enemies. Lord, bless my enemies and cause me to love them as only You can. The only reason I can smile at my enemies, Father, is because I delight in Your salvation. For Your salvation ensures that I will dwell with You all the days of my life and all of eternity. There is no one holy like You Lord. There is none beside You. There is no rock like our God. For You alone have the universe in the palm of Your hand. You alone, have preserved Your sons and daughters. You alone, have conquered death and Satan. You alone are worthy. Holy, Holy, Holy are You, Lord God Almighty. Thank You Father for Your great mercies, for Your everlasting love, for Your blessings, for Your salvation, for Your Son, for Your Holy Spirit, for your sons and daughters. Now, go with Your children and reveal to us Your ways, Your blessings, and Your love. In Jesus’ precious name, we pray. Amen!
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