Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hannah was Thankful for Answered Prayer
(1 Samuel 1:1-20)

Hannah was first of the two wives of Elkanah. The second wife was Peninnah. Elkanah greatly loved Hannah, but she was barren, unable to give children to Elkanah like Peninnah did. Still, Peninnah was jealous of Hannah because of Elkanah’s favoritism.

Even with Elkanah’s love and attentiveness, Hannah was sad. She longed for a baby. Hannah even endured Peninnah’s teasing for being barren.

Each year, Hannah traveled to the city of Shiloh to worship, make sacrifice to the Lord, and ask the Lord for a child. Hannah vowed that if the Lord gave her a son, she would give him for service to the Lord. The priest Eli watched Hannah praying and crying, thinking she was drunk.

After Hannah explained to Eli, he told Hannah to go in peace with his hope that God would grant her prayer. Hannah was greatly encouraged by Eli. The next morning, she worshiped again and then returned to her home. Hannah persevered in prayer. As a difficult situation lingers, it can become hard to pray; yet Jesus taught us to persevere as Hannah did.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
--Matthew 7:7-8 NIV

God gave Hannah the desire of her heart—a baby boy. She named him Samuel. Just as she promised, Hannah took Samuel to Shiloh after he was weaned. Apparently, Hannah did not give her decision a second thought. She willing followed through on her commitment.

Is prayer a priority in your life? Where do you pray? How do you pray? Ask God to give you the earnestness and faith of Hannah in your prayers to Him.

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