1 Samuel 1, Matthew 6: 5, Psalm 37: 4

Teresa Phillips
Teresa Phillips

I've been thinking a lot lately about the account in the Bible about a woman
called Hannah, who was childless for some time. You can read her story in
the first few chapters of 1 Samuel. To give you a brief background, her
husband, Elkanah, had another wife who had plenty of children, who ridiculed
her. Elkanah loved her, but that wasn't enough for Hannah. The thing she
longed for most in the world was a child. For many years she suffered
without until one day, it all got too much for her and she turned to prayer.
This is what she prayed in 1 Samuel 1: 11,

'O Lord almighty, if You will only look upon Your servant's misery and
remember me, and not forget Your servant but give her a son, then I will
give him to the Lord for all the days of his life.' (v11).

Now God did not answer that prayer straight away. But let's observe how she

1) It conveys in verse 11 that Hannah prayed with a surrendered heart, using
three key words..if You will. She made it clear to God what she wanted, but
her heart was surrendered.

2) It says in verse 12 that she continued to pray. She was P.U.S.H-ing. Not
pushing God in a demanding way, but taking herself and her requests to God
in the way Jesus instructs in Matthew 6: 5. She continued to spend time in
the presence of God, to delight in Him. And lets remember that Psalm 37: 4
says, 'delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your

3) After receiving some encouragement from Eli, she went away (verse 18),
left the issue in God's hands, and felt much better. She had entrusted God
with her desire.

After these three things, the Lord gave Hannah a son. It was His plan. And
sometimes, His plan does in fact line up with ours! Too often we become
convinced that God must always want the opposite of what we want. Not so! If
we are delighting ourselves in God, the chances are, He will put the right
desires in our hearts and then satisfy us! Of course, that isn't to say that
He will give you everything you want. All you need to worry about is keeping
your heart surrendered, even if it feels as broken as Hannah's did. Keep it
surrendered while you present your petitions to God, keep it surrendered
whilst you P.U.S.H and also when you've resolved to leave it up to God.
Devote yourself in prayer and then you will get a reward. What will that
reward be? Will it be a 'Yes' to the question you are asking? Who knows -
but what do you want more - a 'yes' to the question you are asking or God's
reward? CR

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