monday:  Hannah's Provocation and prayer

Read 1 Samuel 1:10

1 Samuel now speaks to the transition between the times of the judges to kings. 

A certain man, Elkanah had to two wives: Hannah and Peninnah.  Peninnah had children but Hannah did not.   Peninnah made fun of Hannah for being childless.  The Bible says she provoked her to the point of misery. Throughout the book of Judges we saw a truth in real life that is echoed and beautifully clarified in Hannah’s story: 


The enemy provokes God’s people until God’s people, in their misery, cry out for a heavenly solution. 


I heard an old man preaching on Hannah say, “We must get into a prayerful agony against the monarchy of the devil.”  Indeed, the lesson of Hannah is one of bitterness in prayer that prays throughto a sweet victory. 


Praying through is old term that was used by grandfathers in the faith. 

We don’t hear of it much anymore.  What does it mean? Pray through means you pray until you have a breakthrough. You pray until you get the answer you have so desperately sought.  We don’t hear the phrase much anymore. Even more sadly, there are too few examples of Hannah-type praying in practice anymore.    


See Christ here: “who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,” (Hebrews 5:7, NKJV)  

Jesus prayed with earnestness, anguish, bitterness and gall.  Some would like to have heard Jesus preach. Some would like to have seen Jesus walk on water.  I would like to have heard Jesus pray!

Tuesday:  Hannah's Pledge

Read 1 Samuel 1:11-17

There was nothing that Hannah would not hold back from the Lord to get the answer--even the answer itself!  It almost doesn’t make sense. What she would receive from the Lord by way of a breakthrough answer, she would gladly give away to the Lord. This woman’s heart is aligned with the heart of God.  Prayer will do that.  We’ve heard the phrase, “Prayer changes things!”Amen. 

But listen, prayer changes us!  Hannah makes the vow that includes one familiar to us from Samson’s story, “no razor shall be used on his head”. This is the vow of a Nazarite, one who his particularly and uniquely devoted to God and His service.  

Hannah’s son will ultimately show us a golden testimony that Samson could have had and should have had.   


When she prayed, her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. So distraught in prayer was this woman that the priest, Eli, thought she was drunk. Which begs the question, was this dear woman living closer to heaven than the priest was?  Why didn’t he recognize the spirit of prayer?  


Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26, NKJV) 


See Christ here: There was a sinful woman who came into the banquet of a Pharisee who had hosted Christ for a dinner. Luke 7:36-50 She was uninvited and never said a word.  Instead she wept and anointed his feet with tears and perfume. The host, a religious leader, looked down on her and questioned Jesus’ credentials, “If he were a prophet he would know who is touching him.”  This woman was worshipping the Lord and finding forgiveness. 

In true worship, there are touching and tender movements that are not understood by non-worshippers.  

Christ rebuked the man and received the woman.  Hannah was touching God through prayer and the priest Eli had to play catch up. 


Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.”” (1 Samuel 1:17, NKJV) 

Wednesday:  Hannah's peace

Read 1 Samuel 1:17-20

See how Hannah’s whole disposition has changed.  She had an encouragement from the man of God and more importantly, a spirit-aided assurance within herself that she had the answer.  Hannah’s breakthrough didn’t have immediate effect.  However, she was finished in her spirit. Supernatural peace attended her way. 


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6–7) 


It says, “in the process of time Hannah conceived and bore a son.”   The process of time, under God’s perfect timing, brought the results she had so earnestly prayed for. 


See Christ here:  Christ spoke of praying through.  He told the parable of a friend at midnight.  This man wouldn’t quit knocking until his friend got up and gave him some bread for the visitors who had just come in from out of town.  Luke 11:5-9  This good praying friend would not take “no’ for an answer.  He finally got the bread. Jesus called for this kind of Hannah-like prayer.  

He never taught us pray like, “Just set it and forget it.”  

The New Living Translation says it best:


“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9, NLT) 


hannah's Parting

Read 1 Samuel 1:21-28

Hannah fulfills her vow. What tenderness and a bittersweet progression until her child Samuel was weaned.  Some say that she nursed him until he was three and this is why there were three bulls sacrificed, one for each year. 

However long it was, each day she knew her little boy was closer and closer to leaving her bosom.  

What great men have been given over to the Lord as small children in entire trust to the Lord.  The mother of Moses had to trust the baby to the dangers of the Nile and its fiercest inhabitants the crocodiles. Yet his basket was the safest place on the planet with the Lord watching over him.   When little Samuel is brought to Shiloh, she remembers and reminds Eli that she was the woman who had prayed. And here is this little boy who was obtained by prayer by a prayer-hearing God.  She is still glorifying the Lord for answering her prayer. She calls the man of God to triumph in the Lord with her.    


See Christ here: Mary too had nursed and changed and bathed and cradled Christ the Lord.  She would also give him away.  The old man Simeon had prophecied over him when he was 40 days old at the temple: 

“Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”” (Luke 2:34–35, NKJV)  

Mary would give him away to the world, to the cross, to the tomb and to resurrection to save people from their sins. 


“Simeon had a painful message for Mary. But she discovered that for those who trust God, he uses soul-piercing events to unleash more grace, salvation, and joy into the world than we could have ever imagined.” 

Jon Bloom


Hannah's praise

Read 1 Samuel 2:1-11

Here is the prayer song of Hannah. There is not even a hint of self-pity or regret in her words, only rejoicing!  She doesn’t see it as giving him away. She sees that she is lending him to the Lord. 


Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshiped the Lordthere.” (1 Samuel 1:28, NKJV) 


Hannah is honored. Her days of weeping and bitter prayer have turned into days of rejoicing for answered prayer. 

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5, NKJV) 

Mighty reversals come through earnest and continual prayer. It was E.M. Bounds who said, 

“Marvelous praying yields

marvelous results”  

Hanna has a marvelous hope for how God will use Samuel.  In verses 3-8, she celebrates mighty reversals under his ministry, even as she had a mighty turn-a-round.   Her prayer rejoices in the humble being lifted while the proud are humbled.  The rich are made poor and the poor made rich. The well fed will be made hungry while the hungry will be satisfied.  This is what she has experienced and this is what she sees in her son’s ministry: 

A reversal of injustice is always a holy action of the Lord.


See Christ here: When he came into his first pulpit. He unrolled the scroll and read from Isaiah 61. 


“The Spirit of the Lord Godis upon Me, Because the Lordhas anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”” (Isaiah 61:1–3, NKJV) 


Christ had come to turn everything upside down, right side up again.