Scripture Reading — 1 Samuel 1:9-20
9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 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.”
12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
18 She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.
19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. — 1 Samuel 1:10
Hannah had deep anguish in her heart. Why did Hannah suffer like this?
First, she was unable to bear a child. Second, her husband’s other wife harassed her. Because of her distress, Hannah went to the house of the Lord to pray.
The Bible tells us of several women who faced difficulties because they could not conceive a child. Hannah stands out because she promised, in faith, that if God gave her a son, she would dedicate him to serve in the Lord’s house “all the days of his life.”
God gave Hannah a son, Samuel, in answer to her prayer. And Samuel became a servant of God who was set apart.
Even as a young boy, Samuel heard God’s call to speak for him at a time when the Israelites no longer heard from God. Samuel became a prophet of God and led the people faithfully. God guided Samuel in answer to his mother’s prayer.
The world is constantly facing many difficulties. In times of distress and anguish, we need to think about God’s care and providence, and we need to submit to serving God faithfully. When Hannah sought God and prayed in faith, she was blessed with a child, and God’s people were blessed with a faithful leader. When we pray, God provides.
Father God, hear our prayers. Lord, comfort and guide us to serve you in faith, and may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.