Summary: In the stories of Hannah, Samuel and Saul, we learn three important keys to prayer: Never give up, listen to God’s voice, and walk in obedience.
THE STORY #10: A PRAYING MOTHER, A LISTENING PROPHET AND A DISOBEDIENT KING
INTRO TO TOPIC: First Samuel takes place right after the story of the Judges and Ruth.
• Samuel was the final judge, but he also served as a priest and a prophet.
• This was the transition to the time of the kings.
THE BIG IDEA: In the stories of Hannah, Samuel and Saul, we learn three important keys to prayer: Never give up, listen to God’s voice, and walk in obedience.
1. HANNAH: LESSON FROM A MOTHER: NEVER GIVE UP:
There was a man named Elkanah who had two wives – Hannah and Peninnah (1 Sam. 1).
Peninnah had children, Hannah did not, and Peninnah tormented Hannah because of it.
Every year they would go to the house of the Lord, and Hannah would fast and weep.
“9 So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the Lord. 10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. 11 Then she made a vow and said, "O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”
“12 And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, "How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!" 15 And Hannah answered and said, "No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. 16 Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now." 17 Then Eli answered and said, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him." 18 And she said, "Let your maidservant find favor in your sight." So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.” (1 Samuel 1:9-18).
The First Important Key to Prayer is Perseverance: Never Give Up!
• “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” (Luke 18:1, NLT).
• We need to learn how to P.U.S.H. in our prayers: Pray Until Something Happens!
• Micah said: “Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me.” (Micah 7:7-8).
• It’s easy when you sit in darkness to get discouraged and want to give up, but don’t do it!
“So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, "Because I have asked for him from the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:20).
• “So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.” (1 Samuel 3:20). What a blessing! PARENTS: Pray for your children!
2. SAMUEL: LESSON FROM A PROPHET: LISTEN TO GOD’S VOICE:
“1 Then the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. 2 And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, 3 and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, 4 that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, "Here I am!" 5 So he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." And he said, "I did not call; lie down again." And he went and lay down. 6 Then the Lord called yet again, "Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." He answered, "I did not call, my son; lie down again." 7 (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) 8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. Then he arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you did call me." Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, 'Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel answered, "Speak, for Your servant hears."” (1 Samuel 3:1-10).