Monday, May 21, 2007

Praying the Prayer of Hannah

Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 is, of course, prayed in response (in my opinion) to seeing her baby, little Samuel at probably age 3 or so, fold his chubby little hands together and worship the Lord.

Verse 27-28 of 1 Samuel 1 says: “For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him.
So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.
(emphasis added)

There is debate about who that last “he” in verse 28 is - whether it is Elkanah, or Eli, or Samuel. And I believe it was Samuel. How else could Hannah so “easily” give up this child for whom she had prayed so desperately? After all, Eli hadn’t done such a great job with his own boys, and now she is going to leave a baby with him - a child who must be taught the things of God…?

We don’t have Hannah’s prayer after she is told God will answer her prayer. We don’t have it when she conceives, or even when the child is born, but when Hannah sees her baby boy clasp his little hands together and worship the Lord, she knows in her mother’s heart, that she has done what God would have her to do, and that God Himself will raise this child.

However, when we look at this prayer outside of that context, it is still a great prayer of victory and comfort. The following is a paraphrased prayer of 1 Samuel 2:1-10 to be used at anytime in any situation…

My heart rejoices in the Lord God.
In the Lord, and in Him alone - my strength is lifted up.
I can now claim victory over my enemies, regardless of internal or external enemies; they have no power over me anymore. God, my Saviour has delivered me!

There is no one Holy like our God.
My God, there is no one to compare to You; there is no Rock - nothing to hold to, like the resting place, the secure place, that You give.

You command the proud to shut up! You silence those who are arrogant! For You GOD, are the God who is omniscient, and by You, everything else in the world is examined.

Those who are strong in their own eyes, You will make weak, and yet, those who rely on You will have all the strength they need, in Your omnipotence!

Those who thought they had everything will find that they have nothing. And those who were empty will be hungry no more… Yes, those who were empty, will be filled with abundance, and for those with much, You have said, even what they had will be taken away.

You are the LORD GOD, and You control life and death, feast and famine, defeat and victory. You send empty wells and running water, You drag down, and You lift up.

The poor and weak who cry out to You, You elevate from the very pit, and seat them with the exalted ones.

The world and all of creation is Yours, and You are in control of everything. You will lead and protect those who are Yours, but those who deny You will be silenced with darkness and disgrace.

We can do nothing by our own strength, and anyone who opposes (or ignores) You will be devastated in the end. Ultimately You will judge the earth and all its inhabitants, and Your judgment will rain down with a vengeance.

But to Christ Your anointed, You will give that privilege of judgment, for Christ alone is sinless having lived as God, having lived as man. And His name will be glorified forever! Amen!



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