Devotion and Discipleship

Passionate Prayer and An Outpouring of Gratefulness

“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” (I Samuel 1:27-28a NIV).

I Samuel chapter 1 tells the story of Hannah, who was devastated for lack of a child and who fervently prayed that God would grant her a son.  I recommend reading it before continuing with my thoughts below.

Hannah’s impassioned plea to God for the one thing that would mean the world to her finds its echo in each of us, for we are not strangers to heartbreak, though the causes vary widely. But how many of us truly follow her wisdom?

Perhaps we pray. But Hannah did so much more than just say “Please, God, give me a son.” She was utterly vulnerable before Him, offering not just words, but emotions. Her tearful plea was offered with every ounce of her strength, and with so much passion that the priest doubted her sobriety!

Do we really allow ourselves to be that honest with God? With ourselves?

Perhaps we have faith in God’s faithfulness to answer prayer. But again, Hannah was so much more than a “believer”. She wiped her eyes, changed her expression to one of joy and contentment, and worshiped God. One might infer from the passage that she had faith that God would grant her request, but the Scripture does not explicitly say that. What we know for sure is that she was fully confident in God’s power and favor and that her response was one of peace and joy and worship.

After our tearful prayers, do we pause to recognize God for who He is?

Do we offer Him praise and worship for no other reason than that He is God and we are joyful in Him? Do we experience the amazing peace that comes from truly giving Him our needs and trusting His character, not just His power?

Perhaps we thank God joyfully after our request is granted. But Hannah went so far above a simple “thank you!” Rather, she was so grateful to God for his incredible gift that she saw only one appropriate response: to literally give Samuel to God by giving him to the priest so that Samuel’s life would be lived in full service to God. She did this as soon as he was physically able to be separate from her according to their culture (most likely 3 or 4 years old.)! And she did so with joy, singing a song of praise to God about His sovereign power and authority.

When God grants us a gift are we grateful for more than just a moment?

Do we find a way to daily put that gift into direct service to Him? Do we see our health, relationships, job, home, ministry, personality, etc. as literally His?

I encourage us to practice fervent prayer, absolute trust in God’s character, and a life of gratefulness.

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