Our church is beginning a series of sermons on 1 Samuel. This week we started with the story of Hannah (You can find it in 1 Samuel 1, 2:1-11). I love the story of Hannah, she has always been one of my favourite women in the Bible. I think maybe it's the empathy of such a deep longing, or the awe of such devotion as to give up her child to God.
What I especially love about Hannah is that she isn't afraid to pray, about both the good and the bad. In the sermon, and also Bible study we centred in on her prayers.
- Hannah doesn't hold back, but 'was pouring out [her] soul to the LORD.' How easy it is for us to pretend, even when we pray. God knows whats on our heart, he also wants us to admit it to him.
- Hannah is not ashamed of her longing for children and talks to God about it. (While she doesn't deal with her longing the best way at the beginning, by taking it to God she takes steps to accepting Gods will)
- After Hannah had prayed 'her face was no longer downcast'. This was before she knew how God was going to answer her prayer. Talking to God, and knowing He is in control helps us have peace that is beyond reason or understanding.
- After having Samuel, Hannah praises God for who he is, not just for what he has done for her. 'There is no one holy like the LORD', 'the LORD will judge the ends of the earth'. When I pray to thank God I'm still rather self-centered in my prayer and pray mainly about my blessing. Instead Hannah uses her prayer to glorify God and remind others of His goodness in all things, not just in his blessing of her.
- Hannah's story reminds us that not only is God powerful, but he is also personal. He does care about each one of us indervidually. He is concerned with all aspects of our lives.
- Hannah reminds us to turn to God in all circumstance. When we are in the depths of despair or full of joy; pray to Him!