In this second post on Prayer, I want to shift our attention towards the Prayer of Hannah. Most of us, know how the story goes but for those who are not familiar with the story of Hannah I will try to narrate it briefly. If you are familiar with the story please move on to the next Paragraph. In First Samuel Chapter 1, we see a man named Elkanah who had two wives Peninnah and Hannah. Peninnah had children but Hannah was barren. This was a cause for great concern and worry for Hannah. Moreover, she was always ridiculed and irritated by Peninnah. In the eyes of the World Hannah was fruitless,useless and good for nothing, but not in the eyes of her Heavenly Father and her loving husband. But the kind words of her husband was not enough to console her, it only made more desperate to have a child. The Bible says Elkanah would take his two wives and children to Shiloh every year to offer sacrifice. When they were in the Temple Peninnah used to irritate Hannah until she wept and refused to eat. On one such occasion Hannah decided it was time to pray and receive what God wanted her to have. She stood up and prayed to God her only source of help. She also made a vow that she would offer her son for the needs of the Temple if she was given a son.
The Story of Hannah is a wonderful story which teaches us an awful lot about Prayer and how it works. Today morning, I wondered what really made God move to answer this humble woman's prayer. Then, God revealed to me these three points which I would love to share with you today.
- Seek Help from God and Nowhere else - When Eli mistook her for a drunkard she did not retaliate with harsh words even though she was irritated and discouraged. Better than that, she did not tell him all her needs and why she was praying. All that she said was. " I am a woman who is deeply troubled". Hannah said that much because that's all Eli needed to know. If it was me in Hannah's place I would have told Eli all that I wanted and would have asked him to pray with me. No, there is no need for that if you are praying for your personal need its enough for you to pray. Only then will God be able to Honor your faith. If you ask for prayer from others, there is a chance that your prayer partner may not have the same Faith as you. Think about it.
- Her face was no longer downcast - Read this: "1 Samuel 1:18 - May your servant find favor in your eyes. Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast." Oh, I feel like standing up and applauding this young woman's faith. How I wish I had that much Faith. See, God cares about what you say, what you do after you pray more than he cares about what you do or say when you pray. In my last post on prayer, I made it clear that God knows what you are going to ask for even before you ask for it. The problem with most Christians today is that they worry, pray and then worry again. Is that not foolishness of the highest order. Let us all learn a lesson from Hannah today. From today onwards let us pray and be happy even if we do not see any instantaneous results.
- The Vow - The third point that I want to make is also the most important point. Here, we see Hannah making a vow before God . We modern Christians seldom do so. All we do is pray and receive. As a child, I always wanted to have a soccer ball, I pestered my Dad until I got it. When he finally bought it for me he told me that the ball should in no way affect my studies. When I think about it, he always made me promise that I would not get addicted to the toys he bought me. God is looking for a vow from you. A vow which you should keep. Next time you pray about something make a vow to God stating how you will use the answer to your prayer to glorify His name. Do not forget your vow when your need is fulfilled. Enjoy the results.