Hannah Prayed: A Lesson from 1 Samuel 1
There are many lessons we can learn from Hannah in the Bible. 1 Samuel 1 is full of interesting issues. Infertility. Bullying. Desperation and Depression. Prayer. Promises Kept. God’s Faithfulness.
“For This Child I Have Prayed”
Hannah wanted a baby more than anything. When Hannah lived, a woman who didn’t have a child was often looked down upon. Despite her inability to have children, her husband, Elkanah, loved her deeply. Hannah’s love for her husband could not fill the emptiness inside her heart that longed for a baby, however.
Elkanah took another wife named Peninnah to start a family with. What shame Hannah must have felt when Peninnah prodcued the offspring that she, herself, was unable to provide! Peninnah didn’t ease her burden any either. She was the second choice wife and she knew it so to deal with her own sadness, she ridiculed Hannah, teasing her and provoking her severly. This drove Hannah to tears and depression.
Desperation and Depression
Year after year Hannah saw that her womb was closed and she fell deeper and deeper into despair. Hannah, in her grief, refused to eat. Even the yearly trip to the tabernacle, which should have been a joyful event, did nothing to ease her burden or lift her spirits.
During one of the festival feasts, Hannah slipped away from the famly and went to the tabernacle to pray. She took her desperation to the Lord. Hannah prayed so earnestly that the priest on duty, named Eli, thought she was drunk and told her to leave.
In fact, Hannah had been praying that God would take away her barrenness and give her a male child. If God would answer her prayer, she promised that she would dedicate that child to the Lord and he would serve the Lord all the day’s of his life.
Eli assures Hannah that God had granted her petition and answered her prayer. Hannah trusts in God’s answer, and she leaves the tabernacle full of joy and hope.
Shortly after the visit to the tabernacle, Elkanah and Hannah returned to their home town of Ramah. It came to pass that Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him, Samuel.
Samuel means “Heard of God or Asked of God”
While Hannah prayed, she promised the Lord that she would dedicate her son to the Lord. When he was weaned (probably aboout the age of 3), Hannah kept her promise and brough Samuel to the tabernacle. There he would grow up in God’s house and minister under the High Priest, Eli.
God saw that Hannah had kept her vow so God helped Hannah. He saw her love and devotion to the Lord. Every year, Hannah would come to the tabernacle and bring a new robe for Samuel to wear. On their visits, Eli prayed that the Lord would give them more descendants for their faithfulness.
And God did!
Hannah and Elkanh had 3 more sons and 2 daughters.
There are many lessons to be learned from Hannah.
- First, who do you turn to in your desperation? Do you turn to God like Hannah did?
- Do you pray earnestly and with expectation? When Hannah heard the answer to her prayer, she didn’t leave in doubt. She left rejoicing that God had heard her.
- How do you handle rejection? Do you act out with mean words like Penninah or do you turn to God? Even Hannah fell into depression but she was able to seek God in her trial.
- Do you keep your word? Are you a promise keeper? Many moms would not have been able to turn over their only child to be raised in the tabernacle when he was only 3 years old. But Hannah kept her word and she was blessed with more children because of it. And the world was blessed with Samuel, who became the last judge of Israel and played an important role in the history of the Israelites.
God has a plan. We can trust Him in all things.
Hannah prayed and God helped Hannah. He can help you too!
Looking for a great Sunday School lesson on Hannah? Check this out!
Join us for more teaching tips. Get a free lesson when you sign up today!