1 Samuel chapter 1 verses 1-27
HANNAH teaches us how vital prayer is in times of personal crisis. When we first meet her in the Bible, we discover that she had a burden too great to bear. We read, ‘Hannah had no children’, verse 22. The shame and stigma associated with her condition in those days was intense, but the feeling of loneliness hurt most. We learn that she fretted, wept, did not eat and grieved, verses 6-15. Sadly, her personal distress was so great that she was unable to share it with her husband or the high priest.
The only resource she had was to be found in God. As we progress with her story, we find that her inability to unburden herself, even to the high priest, showed how low the spiritual condition of the nation was.
Hannah’s prayer for a male child was not selfish. It was truly remarkable, in that she realised that if she longed for a male child, God longed for one more than she did. Indeed, she went even further than that and made a vow: ‘If you will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant . . . but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life’ verse 11. Her prayer was persistent, passionate and, not surprisingly, productive. God answered her prayer and ultimately she was able to look at Samuel and say, ‘FOR THIS CILD I PRAYED AND THE LORD HATH GRANTED ME MY PETITION WHICH I ASKED OF HIM’, verse 27.
We have been passing through an unparalleled time of personal and national need. How often have you turned to God in prayer? Are you able to point to anything, or anyone, and say, ‘FOR THIS . . . I PRAYED!’