10th July 2013

Hannah’s Prayer 

“And she made a vow, saying, ‘Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.’”
1 Samuel 1:11 (NIV)

Women can be truly horrible to other women. I’ve always struggled with that concept, and why is it often the women who have it all who are the most unpleasant to fellow females? Let’s look at Peninnah in the early chapter of the first book of Samuel. Elkanah had two wives which is the beginning of the problem. Peninnah had children but Hannah did not, and that led to such severe teasing from Peninnah that it distressed Hannah to the point that she could not eat (verses 2-7). 

Elkanah, typically, did not grasp the severity of the situation. He either had an inflated view of himself, thinking that being with him was better than having ten sons?! (verse 8) or he was making an ill-timed joke. Either way it did not help the state of affairs. 

Poor Hannah! Having to deal with your shortcomings publicly is bad enough, but to be constantly taunted about it is painful and humiliating. Yet, suffering can bring us into a closer and deeper relationship with God. This is evident with Hannah in that, firstly, she took the matter to God and secondly, after she had prayed and spoken with the prophet Eli, she cheered up and ate. This is faith in action—leaving it in God’s hands and just getting on with life. 

When she was blessed with a son, she weaned him and duly handed him over to Eli for service to God. How many of us wanting something so badly, would actually give it away once we finally got our hands on it? And be so joyous about it? Look at Hannah’s prayer right after Samuel’s dedication: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn [strength] is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, because I rejoice in your deliverance. There is no one holy like the Lord; for there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” Read the whole prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 it’s a pretty powerful witness about God. 

God did continue to bless Hannah; I like to think for keeping her vow without reneging or modifying the conditions. She was blessed with three more sons and two daughters. 

Father in heaven, we thank you that, like Hannah, we can turn to you in prayer and know that you will answer. Let us recognise and proclaim when our heart rejoices in You and Your Salvation. For there is no one holy like You and no other rock like You. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Jackee Brown


jackeebrown1About the Author:
Jackee Brown is a member in the Worldwide Church of God UK Congregation in London.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA Student Hostel
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Martin Ryan
Phone:  020 8202 3998
Email: martin_ryan@wcg.org.uk

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