Six Lessons From Hannah

smiling infant

Hannah, A Woman Who Trusted God

Last June I reviewed The Path to Peace by Ann Swindell. Today I would like to mention six lessons we can learn from Samuel’s mother Hannah that I gained from her book.

In 1 Samuel we read the story of Hannah, the prophet Samuel’s mother. Her husband had two wives. Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children. Hannah did not.

For years Hannah prayed for a child. For years God answered no.

Lesson Number 1

While it is difficult to live in bodies that don’t work and don’t seem to measure up, there is peace in knowing our hope is not ultimately in the healing of our bodies, but in God.

Even in the midst of her troubles and grief, Hannah made a deliberate choice to worship God. She turned toward God instead of away from him.

Lesson Number 2

Comparison can cause deep pain.

Hannah chose not to compare herself with Peninnah and her ability to have children. Instead, Hannah looked to God for her identity and purpose.

Lesson Number 3

Take our sorrow to God in prayer.

Hannah poured out her heart to God in prayer. She was honest with her hurt and pain.

Lesson Number 4

Leave your requests with God.

After Hannah prayed, she got up and continued with her life. She surrendered her dreams, got off her knees, and moved on, doing the everyday things that needed done.

Lesson Number 5

Trust that God is at work in your situation in his way and his timing.

We must decide if we will continue to follow God even if he doesn’t answer our prayer the way we want him to. Hannah’s obedience and worship weren’t dependent on God’s answer to her prayer. She chose to trust that God heard and saw her, and that he would do what was best.

Lesson Number 6

Even when we receive what we most desire, it is ultimately for God’s glory, not for ourselves, lest it become an idol.

Hannah prayed for a son. She promised to dedicate him to the Lord as soon as he was weaned.

When Samuel was about two-years-old, Hannah took her precious, long-desired child to the temple to serve God. She left Samuel at the temple under the priest’s care; returning once a year with a new tunic for the gift God gave in answer to her prayers.

Your Turn

I love Hannah’s heart. I love her obedience. I love her dedication to God, even in the midst of such anguish and pain. There is much to learn from this woman of God.

For me, the hardest thing she did was walk away from her son after all the many years of tears and prayers asking God to give him to her. It was her choice. It was her way of honoring and glorifying God. And through Hannah’s sacrifice, Israel received one of its greatest prophets.

Would it have been difficult for you to leave Samuel at the temple?

We can choose to praise God for who he is and for what he has done for us, even after waving good-bye to what we hoped to keep. Ann Swindell

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After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there. 1 Samuel 1:24-28

I wish you well.


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Photo by Chiến Phạm on Unsplash

Cry Out to God in Your Distress

Have there been times in your life when you needed to cry out to God in your distress?

In my life there have been plenty of times I’ve cried out to God in distress. I imagine you may be able to say the same. Perhaps those times occurred during this past year. Perhaps they occurred at some other time.

The prophet Samuel’s mother Hannah cried out to God in her distress. As Hannah prayed in the Lord’s temple, her lips moved but no words came out. Because of that, her actions were misinterpreted by Eli the priest. The priest wasn’t kind, either. In fact, he accused the poor distraught woman of being drunk in the Lord’s house.

Romans 8:26-27 tells us the Spirit comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray. The Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is, because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will.

I think when Hannah prayed that day, the Spirit interceded for her in groans words  could not express.

Although the priest got it all wrong and accused Hannah, God saw straight to her heart. God knew Hannah’s pain. He knew the injustice she endured at the hand of her husband’s other wife. God also knew he would grant Hannah’s request for a son. God  gave her Samuel.

Our actions may be misunderstood by others. They may misinterpret our distress. Conversely, we may misunderstand others actions and misinterpret their distress.

But the wonderful thing about all this is although others may misinterpret or condemn, God’s Spirit intercedes on our behalf. The Spirit takes our painful groans to the Father’s throne.

God sees the motives behind our actions. He hears when we cry out to him in our distress. He looks at us with grace. Not condemnation.

Like Hannah, we can take comfort in that fact.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

One time, after they had finished their meal in the house of the Lord at Shiloh, Hannah got up. She was deeply distressed, and she cried bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. Meanwhile, Eli the priest was sitting in his place by the door.  Hannah continued to pray to the Lord for a long time, and Eli watched her lips. She was praying silently; her lips were moving, but she made no sound. So Eli thought that she was drunk, and he said to her, “Stop making a drunken show of yourself. Stop your drinking and sober up!” “No, I’m not drunk, sir,” she answered. “I haven’t been drinking! I am desperate, and I have been praying, pouring out my troubles to the Lord. Don’t think I am a worthless woman. I have been praying like this because I’m so miserable.” 1 Samuel 1:10, 12-16 (GNT)

You can find my January Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.


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