Summary: Series on men and women’s prayers in the Bible that made a difference and how prayer truly is the difference maker in our lives. I borrowed the outlines from SermonCentral Pro Contributor Tim Byrd.
Hannah: Prayer of Pledge
One evening mother was busy fixing supper. Her little boy came up to her and gave her a piece of paper. She dries her hands on her apron and reads.
For cutting the grass: $5.00 for cleaning up my room this week: $1.00 for going to the store for you: $.50 Baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping: $.25 taking out the garbage: $1.00 the list went on. At the bottom it said, Total owed: $14.75. Well, his mother looked at him standing there, and the boy could see the memories flashing through her mind. She picked up the pen. She turned over the paper he’d written on, and this is what she wrote:
For the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside me: No Charge. For all the nights that I’ve sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you: No Charge For all the trying times, and all the tears that you’ve caused through the years: No Charge. For all the times I wiped your nose and your butt: No Charge For all the toys, food, and clothes: No Charge Son, when you add it up, the cost of my love is: No Charge. When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked straight at his mother and said, "Mom, I sure do love you." And then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote: "PAID IN FULL". When it comes to a mother and her child there is a special bond and as we all know mothers sacrifice a lot. Tonight we will be taking a look at woman named Hannah who personifies motherhood.
Now before we really begin to look at Hannah I want to begin with this statement. When it comes to our own prayer lives we all have our own desires. Things we want or desire. And the question we all ask: “Is it ok to ask God for the desires of our hearts?” It depends on what you desire and if it’s part of God’s Will for your life. I’ll explain more on that at the end.
Tonight as we look at Hannah we are going to see that Hannah had a desire to have a son and we know that according to scripture every year she prayed for God to give her a son and I believe it would be safe to say that she just didn’t pray once a year for this but pretty often she prayed for son. Eventually God answered Hannah’s prayer and she had a son.
The thing we will see tonight is that Hannah almost wasn’t a mother, but the Lord allowed her the gift of a son and since that day Hannah has come to be known as or called the model mother of the Old Testament. Tonight we will notice that the Bible speaks of her sorrow, her supplication and her sacrifice. So let’s begin tonight by looking at Hannah: The Prayer of Pledge.
Let’s look at her sorrow…………
I. Sorrow (vv. 1-10)
Hannah had a loving husband but could not bare him a child. In those days a woman found her worth in her children. That is still the way it is in some parts of the world today. A man finds his worth in what he does his work and how he provides for his family. A woman on the other hand finds her worth in taking care of her family and her home. In those days if you couldn’t bear a child other women looked down upon you. Not only that the husband would sometimes look down upon his wife. That was not the case for Hannah though, her husband loved her dearly. (v. 6-8)
Like many us, Hannah was sure that she had the right to be bitter. Life hadn’t been fair to her. And every day, people reminded Hannah of her sorrow. Hannah was one of two wives of a man name Elkanah. The other wife, Peninnah, had children. But Hannah had none. In ancient Israel, children were more than important: they were symbols of fulfillment. In Hannah’s case her childlessness was a burden.
Now before we go on many of you are wondering why did Elkanah have two wives and I thought that was wrong? In many ways, Elkanah seems to be a good and godly man, except that he had two wives. Apparently Hannah was his first wife, and when she proved barren, he married Peninnah so he could have a family. We don’t know why Elkanah didn’t wait on the Lord and trust Him to work out His plan, but even Abraham married Hagar (Gen. 16) and Jacob ended up with four wives! While bigamy and divorce were not prohibited by Jewish law according to Deut. 21:15-17; 24:1-4, God’s original plan was that one man be married to one woman for one lifetime (Mark 10:1-9.)