In the bible, I am most inspired by Hannah’s prayers to the Lord to have a child. Her infertility caused her to be bitter because her husband Elkanah had a second wife, Peninnah who often made a mockery of her. This gave her a deep sadness and a loss of hope. So she prayed a despairing prayer to God. In this prayer, she vowed to God if He would give her a son that she would dedicate him back to God so he could serve Him in whatever God’s will was for his life.
Hannah knew who God was and that he was full of love and compassion when one of his children cries out to Him in despair. I remember back in the old days when the elders of the church prayed despairing prayers, all the kids would laugh and make fun of them at church and home. “Oh they’re putting on a show, trying to outplay each other. They done prayed enough when they pray over thirty minutes. Look at that old snot running out the nose. I hope it doesn’t get on me, let me show you how Brother John beats the floor, this how Mrs. Sue is falling all out. They had all of down and could react it out, Lord have mercy.
The mockery went on for years. But this year when they were going to sacrifice to the Lord of Heavens Armies in Shiloh it was different. Hannah felt so sorrowful that she cried and could not eat her food. Elkanah asked Hannah why was she crying and not eating. Is it because you can’t have children? He said to her, “You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?”
After they ate Hannah prayed and she made a vow to the Lord: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.”
She prayed so hard that the Priest Eli thought she was drunk. He told her she needed to leave the wine bottle alone. But she explained to him that she was praying out of her anguish and sorrow. “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”
That night Elkanah slept with Hannah. I don’t know whether it was this time she conceived but, “When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.” This story of answered prayer shows us that we should have this same unwavering trust and faith in God.
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