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Hannah’s Prayer


 

Hannah lived with her pain for years.

Even though we’re separated from Hannah and her plight by thousands of years and countless cultural differences, her “deep anguish”–caused by her inability to conceive a son, and the cruel mockery she experienced as a result–is something we can understand.

But even though these disappointments “went on year after year,” Hannah continued to pray. And one day, God answered that prayer. Hannah’s song of thanks is one of the most beautiful prayers in all of Scripture. Read along as Hannah’s years of grief and pain dissolve into simple, heartfelt gratitude to God.

1 Samuel 2:1-10

Then Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.

“There is no one holy like the Lord;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

“Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.

“The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.

“The Lord brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.

“For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
on them he has set the world.
He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.

“It is not by strength that one prevails;
those who oppose the Lord will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.

“He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

Think About It

  • Have you ever waited years for an answer to prayer? What did you learn in the course of that long wait for God’s answer?
  • What do you think might have happened if God’s hadn’t answered Hannah’s prayer the way she hoped? Do you think it’s possible to be thankful to God even when He says “no” to an earnest prayer?
  • At what point should we interpret God’s silence as a “no” answer?
  • What prayer requests have you brought before God recently? Have you taken time to express your gratitude for God’s grace, even as you await an answer?

(Bible Gateway)