Summary: The lesson Hannah has for all of us is the nature of her prayer to God.
The Prayer of Hannah
Text: 1 Samuel 1:1-20
Happy Mother’s Day!
Q: How many here have either been a mother, or have had a mother?
Some of you will catch that on the way home.
I admire mothers, and having had the incredible experience of witnessing the birth of my kids, I especially admire my wife. But as a dad I have limited insight into what it means to be a mother, like it was at the birth of our kids, I am a spectator to the spectacle. I am fortunate to have two very excellent examples of the best of motherhood in my own mother and in my wife. So when I knew I would be filling in on Mother’s day I started surveying the bible for possible sermons and I came across the story of a Mom with a message for everyone. The story and the sermon are about The Prayer of Hannah.
The Story of Hannah 1 Samuel 1:1-20
Hannah was a mother who didn’t just get married and start having kids. A number of women know the heartache of not being able to conceive. Hannah knew that heartache. The Lord had closed her womb, and she had a rival in another wife of her husband who tormented her because of her lack of children. Hannah wants to be a mom in the worst way, let’s look at her story: 1 Samuel 1:1-20
The lesson Hannah has for all of us, and what we are going to focus on, is the nature of her prayer to God. I want to focus on the nature of her prayer, because all of us can learn from her prayer, whether you are a mother or not. Let’s explore the lesson of The Prayer of Hannah:
There are at least three principles I want us to put into practice from Hannah’s prayer, and the first is to…
I. Pray Persistently
A. Hannah prayed for a son.
1. She purposed in her heart to beg the Lord to give her this blessing.
a. Anyway, she was not going to be dissuaded, even in the face of the encouragement of a husband who loved her and saw her pain, and expressed his love for her.
b. And she persisted even in the face of persecution and ridicule. Her rival was merciless in her ridicule and taunting.
c. She persisted even in face of the high priest, who seeing her lips move as she prayed, thought she was drunk.
1) And when he saw the heart of Hannah, he blessed her and expressed his hope that her request would be granted.
2. Persistently as Jesus taught in His parable of the widow - Luke 18:1-8
3. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
4. Her lesson to mothers, and to all of us, is to pray persistently.
a. The Bible says that if we pray according to the will of God, He hears, and He grants that what we have asked.
b. 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.
c. Samuel went on to become the last judge of Israel, and anointed both Saul and David as kings of Israel.
So, pray with persistent intent. Second…
II. Pray Purposefully
A. Hannah prayed not just for a son.
1. 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.
a. 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.
b. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Samuel’s mother to do that, after praying for him for so long, nursing and nurturing him, and rejoicing in the provision of God.
c. But she did it anyway. It was in accordance with what she had prayed beforehand.
3. With the right motives “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives…” James 4:3a
4. Back to our point. She could have said, “Give me a son, so I can be happy.” “Give me a son so my husband will be happy.” “Give me a son so I can shut up that other woman.” “Just give me a son.”
a. But she went beyond that. She knew what she wanted, and prayed purposefully for it.
5. There is no reason for us to be nebulous in our prayers.