1 Samuel 1:9-20, 2:1-10
On one occasion, Hannah got up after they ate and drank at Shiloh. The priest Eli was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord ’s temple. Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears. Making a vow, she pleaded, “ Lord of Armies, if you will take notice of your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut.” While she continued praying in the Lord ’s presence, Eli watched her mouth. Hannah was praying silently, and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to be drunk? Get rid of your wine!” “No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.” Eli responded, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request you’ve made of him.” “May your servant find favor with you,” she replied. Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent. The next morning Elkanah and Hannah got up early to worship before the Lord. Afterward, they returned home to Ramah. Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because she said, “I requested him from the Lord.”
Hannah prayed: "My heart rejoices in the Lord ; my horn is lifted up by the Lord. My mouth boasts over my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. There is no one holy like the Lord. There is no one besides you! And there is no rock like our God. Do not boast so proudly, or let arrogant words come out of your mouth, for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and actions are weighed by him. The bows of the warriors are broken, but the feeble are clothed with strength. Those who are full hire themselves out for food, but those who are starving hunger no more. The woman who is childless gives birth to seven, but the woman with many sons pines away. The Lord brings death and gives life; he sends some down to Sheol, and he raises others up. The Lord brings poverty and gives wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the trash heap. He seats them with noblemen and gives them a throne of honor. For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; he has set the world on them. He guards the steps of his faithful ones, but the wicked perish in darkness, for a person does not prevail by his own strength. Those who oppose the Lord will be shattered; he will thunder in the heavens against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. He will give power to his king; he will lift up the horn of his anointed." Hannah went home to Ramah, but the boy served the Lord in the presence of the priest Eli.
What’s the thing that you have been praying for the longest amount of time? If God gave you what you’ve been asking for, what would it look like for you to “give it back to God,” the way Hannah gave Samuel back to God and use it for His glory?
What’s amazing about God is that He never asks us to do anything He hasn’t first done Himself. Like Hannah, God gave up His only son, Jesus, so that we could be close to God again after sin broke our relationship.
Lord, there is something that I really desire. You know the desires of my heart and delight to give good gifts to your children. Help me to see myself as only a steward of the things that you give me, using them for your kingdom and your purpose. I am asking you to give me this request in Jesus’ name.
Write a note to someone who needs a miracle.