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 lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the LORD for him."
There are at least three principles I want us to put into practice from Hannah’s prayer, and the first is to…
I. Pray Decisively.
Hannah set her sights on praying for a son. She purposed in her heart to beg the Lord to give her this blessing.
I might add that if she had read Friday’s newspaper, she might have prayed for a girl, since a researcher in Finland found that boys may actually shorten the life-span of mothers. True!
Anyway, she was not going to be persuaded, even in the face of the encouragement of a husband who loved her and saw her pain, and expressed his love for her.
And she persisted even in the face of persecution and ridicule. Her rival was merciless in her ridicule and torture.
Let me tell you right now, if there was no better argument for banning polygamy, this would be good enough, amen?
All through Scripture, when multiple wives were had, there was nothing but strife. And this lady was a role model for meanies.
She would not be persuaded by the high priest, who seeing her lips move as she prayed, thought she was drunk. And when he saw the heart of Hannah, he blessed her and expressed his hope that her request would be granted.
Her lesson to mothers, and to all of us, is to pray decisively.
If God has laid something on your heart, then go for it.
The Bible says that if we pray according to God’s will, He hears, and He grants that what we have asked.
God had a plan for Samuel before the beginning of time. Hannah was convinced that God was capable of opening her womb, and to use her son to His glory, which He did.
Samuel went on to become the last judge of Israel, and anointed both Saul and David as kings of Israel.
So, pray decisively.
II. Pray Specifically.
Hannah prayed for a son. But not just a son, but one who would grow up to be a servant of God, promising to give him over to the service of the temple after he was weaned.
Let’s stop there for just a moment.
She prayed for this boy, and then gave him over when he was weaned, probably when he was two or three.
Now I look at my children, and especially Olivia, who is 3 years old. It would be hard enough for a father to give over one of my children, after I had grown to love them for 2 or 3 years, and maybe get to see them only occasionally.