Summary: God not only heard, but He answered Hannah’s prayers. Indeed, Hannah was a praying mother!
A Praying Mother
My Mother Prayed
(A Mother’s Day Sermon)
By Marie Mason
I Samuel 1: 1-8
We are about to take a peek into the birth of one of the greatest men Israel had ever known, and a look at the heroine in this story, Samuel’s mother, a praying woman.
Chronology: The birth of Samuel was around 1100 B.C.
History: Before we begin our study of Hannah, let’s take a look at what was going on historically during this time. First, this comes after the Judges which had produced no deliverance, and evidently had gone its full course.
And, by the power of his mother’s prayer, we are able to peek into the records of Samuel’s birth.
In order to gain insight into the circumstances surrounding the history of Samuel’s family, and his birth we need to read the opening portions. Please turn to I Samuel 1: 1-8:
“Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim,
of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the
son of Jeroboam, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu,
the son of Zuph, and Ephrathite:
And he had two wives; the name of the one was
Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah:
and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no
children. And this man went up out of his city
yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord
of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli,
Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord,
were there. And when the time was that Elkanah
offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all
her sons and her daughters, portions: But unto
Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved
Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb.
And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to
make her fret, because the Lord had shut up
her womb. And as he did so year by year, when
she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked
her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.
Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why
weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why
is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than
ten sons?” (KJV)
We see from our text, a man whose name was Elkanah. The name Elkanah means: ‘a zeal of God.’ It is evident that not only was Elkanah a family man, but a godly man. For the Scripture says that, “this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord.”
Also, we see the names of Elkanah’s wives, Hannah and Peninnah. We are made aware that Elkanah, although his wife, Hannah was barren loved her. Verse 5 clearly states that: “But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah....” Although Hannah’s husband loved her, apparently she was not happy. Why wasn’t she happy? What was wrong? Didn’t Hannah have everything a woman could ask for.... a family man... a godly husband... a man who loved her dearly? Think about it. Before coming to a conclusion concerning this matter, let’s look at Hannah’s situation.
After the introduction, we immediately go to Hannah’s situation. Verse 2b informs us that, “Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.” Can you imagine how Hannah must have felt? Here, we find that Peninnah, her husband’s other wife had children, yet Hannah was barren. Can you blame her for being unhappy? If being barren wasn’t enough, the Scripture states that, “And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat” (verses 6,7).
Hannah went through a lot, didn’t she? Her husband’s other wife, Peninnah taunted and ridiculed her for not being able to bear children. The Bible says, “therefore she wept, and did not eat.” Culturally speaking, it was a terrible thing in those days, and in their custom for a woman to be barren. A barren woman was looked upon as a sign of disfavor from God. If any situation was impossible, certainly this could be categorized as an impossible situation. There did not seem to be any hope of Hannah becoming pregnant, and having a son. However, Hannah was a praying woman. She wept and prayed and did not eat.
Hannah Made A Vow
Hannah wanted a child, and she made not just any vow, but a Nazarite vow. That took a tremendous amount of faith, didn’t it? Let’s eavesdrop on this woman of faith’s conversation with God. Let’s go down to verse 11:
And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if