We are taking a break for the summer until futher notice.

(Tuesday, 10-16-07) Prayer 12 - Hannah's Prayer for a Child

1 Samuel 1:1-20

It is not uncommon for a woman to want children but cannot become pregnant. During the days of the Old Testament, it was frequently aggravated because there were other wives in the family who did bear children.

Hannah was in such a position. Her husband, Elkanah, had another wife named Peninnah who had born children to him. Hannah was barren. Peninnah would irritate her, possibly mocking her, but Elkanah loved her deeply.

On one occasion when the family went to Shiloh to worship, Hannah made a vow and prayed to God for a child. His answer brought her a child named Samuel.

What Can We Learn?
1. Hannah was at a point where she understood the difference between bargaining with God and real commitment.
2. It was her discomfort and dissatisfaction with her life that moved her to finally want to be part of God’s work.
3. The deep emotionality of her prayer made Eli think she was drunk (cf. Acts 2 – the apostles).
4. Samuel means “answered prayer.”
5. Note the following verses:
a) Ps 99:6
b) Jer 15:1
c) Acts 13:16
The point here is that Samuel became both a man of prayer and a pivotal figure in Israel’s history because his mother was a praying woman.

Questions to Ponder
1. Why do you think God allows people to suffer so long without the things they want so badly, like a barren woman wanting a child?
2. Why do you think Hannah’s is the first recorded prayer of a woman in the Bible?
3. What do you think of someone seeing another person praying and concluding that they are drunk? What do you think they were seeing?
4. Why do you think Hannah made a vow to God?
5. What is the significance in 1:18 that following her prayer, she ate and shed her sadness?
6. How difficult do you think it was for Hannah to give up Samuel in fulfillment of her vow to God?

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