Scripture reading for March 17th: 1st Samuel 1-3
Prayer is an interesting subject. God encourages us to pray about everything. We know that God knows everything already and sometimes wonder why He wants us to ask of Him. Prayer is simply communication with God in the form of talking and listening. It often requires patience to receive the answer. Our timing isn’t always God’s timing and our hearts sometimes need preparation to handle the answer. The Book of First Samuel begins with a story about a barren woman who is bitter in her heart because God had closed her womb. She finally decided to pray! Has it come to this?
Hannah is one of two wives of Elkanah, an Israelite from the tribe of Ephraim. Don’t get thrown by the fact that this man had two wives. It was part of the custom of that day but not according to the plan of God! (Mark 10:6-9) Notice that these wives had conflict between them and were considered rivals! (1st Samuel 1:2-7) One wife had sons and daughters and Hannah had none. Hannah would weep bitterly when the other wife pointed out that she had no children. Elkanah was frustrated, too, because he loved Hannah and wanted to encourage her.
Hannah stood up and went to the temple herself! There she wept bitterly before the Lord and poured out her soul to God. She made a vow that if God would give her a son, she would dedicate him to the Lord and give him to Him. As she continued to commune with God in her heart and silently moved her lips, Eli the priest noticed her. Thinking her drunk, he rebuked her sharply! (1st Samuel 1:9-13) Hannah explained her desperate prayer and Eli told her to go in peace, that the Lord would grant her request!
How hard would it be for you if your preacher accused you of being drunk in God’s house when you were merely desperate for God’s help? Would you get angry and give up? Would you take offense and hold a grudge? This woman patiently and respectfully explained her situation, and Eli confirmed that her prayer had been heard! It is easy to jump to wrong conclusions!
Hannah had a baby the next year and followed through on her vow! God does answer fervent prayer! Take time today and pour your heart out to God!