Hannah’s Prayer — Hannah’s problem, prayer, peace, & thankfulness for baby Samuel.
Reading 1: 1 Samuel 1
Reading 2: 1 Samuel 2:1-11
Reading 3: Philippians 4:6-7
After the sad account of Samson, the ungodly Nazirite who nonetheless became an instrument of God’s judgment on the enemies of God’s people, we had the story of Ruth, the foreigner who came into God’s people and became an ancestor of royalty.
Now we have another encouraging account, of another miraculous Nazirite: Elkanah and Hannah’s son Samuel. Hannah is desperate to have a son and her anguish is magnified by the mocking of her rival Peninnah. Peninnah seems to have no fear of God nor any understanding of God’s role in giving us children; she causes grief for her whole family and thus is a strong advocate against polygamy!
But Hannah is determined to trust God and seek His answer for her pain and grief, even though the “God business” is in a poor state at this time: Eli the priest is delegating most of his duties to his sons, who we will hear more of in our next reading, but they are not inspiring examples of godliness. When Eli does participate in the activities at the tabernacle he does so from a human perspective, as we see from his conversation with Hannah.
But through all this, Hannah and Elkanah are determinedly focused on God for their answers. Despite the unhelpful circumstances they trust God and receive the gift they have sought for so long – the son Samuel.
In a further demonstration of faith and trust in God, they prepare the child and then bring him to the Tabernacle where they leave him in the care of Eli (the lazy priest) and his two sons (the ungodly priests). Hannah and Elkanah are living proof of the verses we read in Philippians: Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
What an example for us as we live in an ungodly world, with challenges and threats just as Samuel would face. If we, like Samuel and his parents, trust God and pray about everything then we will experience the same peace as they did.
May God’s peace guard your heart and mind today, and every day!
Have a great day!