Good morning! I pray all is well with you and those you love on this Lord’s Day. Prayer and praise are wonderful opportunities to communicate and commune with God. The opening chapters of 1 Samuel provide us with a beautiful picture of prayer and praise through the eyes and from the heart of Hannah. No doubt thousands of women prayed before Hannah’s day mentioned here. However, Hannah is the first recorded instance of a woman praying. In part, this is due to women appearing less in ancient literature, including the Bible, than men. It would be a wonderful blessing if we had more examples of women praying from Eve down to Hannah. Sadly, we do not. We can rest assured that women play a vital role in the story of faith. Perhaps, that adds to the special beauty of Hannah’s prayers highlighted in the first two chapters of 1 Samuel, one of my favorite books of Scripture. In Hannah, we see a picture of a prayerful woman, whose love is pure and constant, and whose prayers are fervent and thoughtful. She believes in God and loves the Lord deeply. Hannah perseveres in the face of constant persecution and ridicule by her own kin.
Due to the flagrant immorality and sin permeating the Old Testament world, God tolerated men having more than one wife. God allows us, in our constant rebellion, to become the recipient of our own choices. He gives us the true desires of our heart, which too often are sadly sinful, immoral, and evil. Through Jesus, marital relationships are raised to a new high, restoring what was horribly distorted as a result of the Fall. Jesus demonstrated what true love is. Therefore, as Christians, we have a new standard of love and righteousness.
This is how we have come to now love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. (1 John 3:16)
In beseeching God for a son, she made a personal commitment to God resting in God’s future provision. She trusted and believed God could and would bless her with a child if it pleased Him to do so. She did not seek to manipulate God nor did she make her vow conditional. If God gave her a son, Hannah vowed to allow him to serve the Lord for the duration of his earthly life. She did not pray this aloud in the streets for all to hear and see, but silently on her own while enjoying the presence of the Lord. Her prayer comes from the deepest depth of her heart, a place of great hurt. She is wounded and afflicted, at the end of her rope. She pleads with God. And He answers.
If the story stopped there, it would remain one of the highlights of Scripture. However, the story only begins there.
God answers Hannah’s prayer and in response, Hannah follows through on her vow and exalts God in a prayer of praise. She dedicates her son, Samuel, to the Lord and commits to teaching him to do God’s will and follow the Lord all the days of his life. She entrusts him to the priest Eli. In celebration for God’s provision and answer to her fervent prayers, Hannah praises and gives thanks to the Lord for His blessings. This too should be our response when God answers our prayers. We should celebrate answered prayer jubilantly and as fervently as we beseeched God for our requests. Praise should form an integral part of our prayer life. Prayer consists of both petition and praise.
Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
As believers, we need to remember to praise and thank God for the prayers He answers.
Hannah’s Prayer (1 Samuel 2:1-11)
1 Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. 2 “There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 3 “Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. 4 “The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. 5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry are hungry no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away. 6 “The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. 7 The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. 8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; on them he has set the world. 9 He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. “It is not by strength that one prevails; 10 those who oppose the LORD will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.” 11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.
What are you fervently asking God for? What prayers has the Lord answered in your life that you need to give Him praise for? How can we make praise a regular component of our prayer life?
As always, thank you for reading.
The Devotional Guy™
ABOUT: The Devotional Guy™ is a writing ministry by Chaplain Rainer Bantau, meant to encourage, engage, and enrich souls. Hopefully, you will find posts that are helpful and inspirational, fueled by love, and filled with truth. It is a blog by grown-ups for grown-ups, focused on loving God and loving people.
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