1Samuel 1:1-27, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maid servant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, no razor shall come upon his head”
Anything the Lord does, He does it for a reason and it’s upon men to learn why He chooses to do certain things through people. Everything God does, He does it glory for His glory and men become the beneficiary of His blessings.
Here is Hannah who had a loving and caring husband. She was married to Elkanah who had another wife called Peninnah. Elkanah loved Hannah more than Peninnah for we see how they get treated when it comes to getting gifts. Vs 4&5, “And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife… vs. 4 But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah”. Now God had blessed Peninnah with children, Hannah on the other hand was barren for the Lord had closed her womb. Being that she was loved and cared for, given more attention, more material things you would think that would give her all the joy and the happiness, not in Hannah’s case.In life, we see people who have everything other people think should make them happy yet these are some of the most miserable folks why? Relationships are more fulfilling than possessions.
I believe she was fine in her situation until her rival Peninnah began to provoke her severely to make her miserable Vs 6. We saw this with Jacob’s wives, Leah and Rachel. Leah had children while Rachel did not. Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah and therefore Leah provoked her daily and that made Rachel desire a child. Hannah was provoked so much that she desired a child of her own too. We can be provoked by people around us to desire bigger cars, houses, promotions, ministries or anything etc but the question is, what is your motive? Yes they are good things and can be desired but the motive for desiring them can be wrong. James 4:3, “Ye ask and receive not, because you ask a miss, that you may consume it upon your lusts“. At times we don’t ask but many times when we ask good things we find later they were for wrong reasons. Hannah desired a child but why? Did she want a child to get back at her rival, or a child to not feel left out, or escape loneliness? This could have been her motive and therefore year in year out she prayed but God would not answer her prayers. You should not be quick to blame God for not answering your prayers when you know for sure that if He answered them, you will not go to church anymore, you will not give Him glory due to Him, your pride will take over. God will not give you what He knows will destroy you until He changes you. This is why the priority of prayer is about changing you first before changing things
Hannah perhaps came to realize that her previous prayers were selfish prayers (for self) and God would delay response until she changed the focus of her prayers vs. 11, “Then She made avow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maid servant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, no razor shall come upon his head”. This is what I call praying with a purpose, this is the type of prayer that supercedes our selfish desires and ambitions for we begin to see that anything God is going to bring our way is not for us but for His glory and to reach others. He may entrust it in our custody but it’s more than for us. Her vow was for her son to be God’s servant all the days of his life. After she prayed this prayer, her desire was granted. These are the prayers that pleases the Father. These are the prayers that focusses on the object of our faith rather than the outcome of our prayers. This is life transforming prayer rather than situation changing prayers.
Now I understand why many people cannot be used of God for God knows that they will love the praises of men and He will not get any of it. 2Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in the earthen vessels that the excellence of the power maybe of God and not of us”. The bible says that our God is a jealous God and He will not share His glory with anyone else. When I pray for a promotion, a better place to live, to be used more is because I want to glorify Him in all things and others may be blessed too, it’s all about Him. My motive is to build a testimony that many may know that God is able Read Ezekiel 36:22-.
John the Baptist was told that Jesus was doing the work he should have been doing, here was his response, John 3:30, “He must increase, that I may decrease”. Because of Hannah’s change of prayer attitude, Samuel is born to become one of the greatest prophets of God, used to serve many. Yes the mother rejoiced to have received a male child, but God used His gift to the woman to accomplish His will. Rachel bore Joseph who became mighty, a picture of Christ. What do you desire that you have prayed for? What was your motive? Before you pray to God to change the situation, why not pray that God changes you. When He changes you, you will still have faith and confidence in Him whether He comes through or not because your faith is not in the outcome, it’s in who is in control. Blessings Ev