Summary: Hanna’s example of dedication to God demonstrated through prayer challenges us to pray about the things our heart desires.
And she was in bitterness of soul,
and prayed to the LORD, and wept sore.
Moreover as for me, God forbid that
I should sin against the LORD
in ceasing to pray for you…
Hannah was a discouraged woman. She’d been married several years, and had no children, while her "sister wife" Peninnah had several. Peninnah’s pride over having children caused Hannah to see her as the "enemy." She’d done everything she could to gain the desire of her heart, a child. The only place she could turn for real help was God.
I Why Pray?
A. Jesus can grant our requests (John 16:24)
B. It’s one way to fight Satan (Ephesians 6:18)
God helps us find His mercy and grace there (Heb. 4:16)
C. Because it works (James 5:16)
II What if Nothing Happens?
A. Pray with other Christians (Acts 4:24; 12:5)
C. Pray, asking for what you want (James 4:2)
D. Examine yourself, checking for:
1. A thankful spirit (Philippians 4:6-7)
2. Sin (Isaiah 59:1-2)
3. Obedience (1 John 3:22)
4. Faithfulness in prayer (Luke 18:5-8)
III When Did Jesus Pray?
A. In the morning (Mark 1:35)
B. All night long at times (Luke 6:12)
C. Before great challenges (Luke 23:39-46, etc.)
D. After great challenges (Matt. 14:23; John 6:15)
E. When life was unusually busy (Luke 15:15-16)
F. Before great trials (Matthew 26:36)
Hannah went to God for something people may say was a proud request. She did not pray for the deliverance of her nation, for blessings on her people. She prayed for a child, especially a son. God honored her. We often have not, because we ask not. Hannah’s story should help us realize God notices us, and honors our prayers, even if they’re for simply personal things.