3 Things We Can Learn from Hannah (1 Samuel)
If you’re familiar with 1 Samuel, you’ll know that we enter the story finding Hannah in a desperately sad state. Unable to have children, she is bullied by her husband’s second wife Peninah and is heartbroken about not being able to provide a family of her own.
However, Hannah is a woman that hopes in God through every up and down of her life, and her journey of faith teaches us so much about the character of our Father and the type of relationship we can enter into with Him. We learn that He is a God who knows us, cares for us, and meets us in our brokenness.
Read the whole story for yourself here and see how God’s grace and love weaves through Hannah’s story, as He continues to bless her by using her son Samuel in high and holy ways.
The way that Hannah continues to trust in God is inspiring. These are a few things about her journey of faith that I’ve found helpful and have tried to work on my own life:
1. Passionate prayer: in joy and sorrow
At the beginning of the story, we find Hannah on her knees, praying. As her journey continues, she returns to prayer and praise again and again, through every trial and blessing. Hannah has cultivated a praying life and a heart that continues to praise God and hope in Him.
Let's engage prayerfully and regularly with our Heavenly Father, submitting all our hopes, dreams, despairs and worries up to Him: praying with the passion of Hannah.
2. We can pour out our souls to the Lord
Hannah shows us that we can develop a praying life that is very real. Our times of prayer can be raw, intimate, honest and authentic, for we can pour out our soul to the Lord God who knows us and knows the content of our hearts and souls.
We should be praying in our times of joy and happiness but also in our despair and grief. In her bitter sadness, even Hannah’s husband can’t comfort her, so she approaches her Heavenly Father and “in her deepest despair, she prayed to the Lord.”
In that hurting, broken state, Hannah “poured out [her] soul to the Lord”, knowing that God was the only one who could meet her needs and be her rock. Hannah trusts in the Lord to meet her in her despair. He revives the hearts of the broken.
3. Surrendering your life to God brings great blessing
The way Hannah responds to the blessing of her son Samuel is a great inspiration to me. She immediately surrenders Samuel up to God: "The Lord has granted me what I asked of him... So now I give him (Samuel) to the Lord."
Hannah continues to surrender her life to the Lord: offering up her greatest blessing, the very son she had so longed for and waited for, to be used by God. She trusts in His sovereign goodness, and while it may have been easy for her to cling on to Samuel after all that painful waiting and longing, Hannah shows absolute confidence in God's sovereignty and goodness, trusting His divine plans for the rest of her family's journey.
Do we have this same, sure hope? Do we pray with passion and expectancy, in our joys and in our sorrows?
To finish with Hannah’s own prayer: