Anne Fountain - Hannah's Prayer: There's more happening than we think when we pray


Sermon notes - Hannah’s Prayer: there’s more happening than we think when we pray

Hannah’s Prayer

  1. Read the story
  2. Learning from Hannah’s situation & prayer
  3. What God is doing behind the scenes

1 Samuel 1

  1. There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the mountains of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, son of Jehoram, son of Tohu, son of Zuph the Ephraimite.
  2. And he had two wives, the name of the first was Hannah and the name of the second was Peninnah. Peninnah had children but Hannah had no children.
  3. Now, this man went up from his city each year to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts in Shiloh. There two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the Lord.
  4. When the time came for Elkanah to make an offering he gave portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters.
  5. But to Hannah he gave a special portion, because he especially loved Hannah, although the Lord had shut up her womb. (The Lord had not enabled her to have children.)
  6. Her rival (adversary) deeply provoked her, in order to distress her, because the Lord had closed her womb.
  7. And so it was year after year, as often as Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, Peninnah provoked her so that she wept and did not eat.
  8. So Elkanah, her husband said to her, “Hannah why are you weeping and why are you not eating? Why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”
  9. Hannah rose up after they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh.
    And Eli the priest was sitting on the seat against the doorpost of the temple of the Lord.
  10. Hannah was in deep distress so she prayed to the Lord and wept inconsolably.
  11. And she vowed a vow saying, “Lord of Hosts if you will indeed look on the affliction of your maidservant and remember me and not forget your maidservant, but will give to your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life and a razor will not touch his head.”
  12. So it was that she prayed a long time before the Lord, and Eli was watching her mouth.
  13. Now Hannah was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving but her voice was not heard, so Eli thought she was drunk.
  14. Then Eli said to her, “How long have you been drinking? Put your wine away from you.”
  15. But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman who is sober, I have not drunk wine or strong drink, but I was pouring out my heart before the Lord.”
  16. “Do not regard your maidservant as a daughter of wickedness for out of the abundance of my trouble and distress I have spoken until now.”
  17. And Eli answered, “Go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request that you have asked of him.”
  18. Then she said, “Let your maidservant find favour in your eyes.”
    She went on her way, and she ate and her face was no longer downcast.
  19. So they rose early in the morning and they worshipped before the Lord. Then they returned and cme to their house at Ramah.
    And Elkanah knew his wife Hannah and the Lord remembered her.
  20. So it was that, at the end of the year, Hannah became pregnant and she bore a son. She called him Samuel, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
  21. This man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer the yearly sacrifice to the Lord and to keep his vow.
  22. But Hannah did not go up for she said to her husband, “When the boy has been weaned, then I will bring him up. He will appear before the Lord and he will dwell there forever.”
  23. Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what is good in your eyes, stay until you have weaned him. May the Lord cause his word to be fulfilled.”
    So she remained and nursed her son until she had weaned him.
  24. And she brought him up with her when she had weaned him, with a three year old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine. She brought him into the house of the Lord in Shiloh, and the boy was young.
  25. They slaughtered the bull and brought the boy to Eli.
  26. And she said, “Oh my lord, as your soul lives my lord, I am the woman who was standing here with you in order to pray to the Lord.
  27. “I prayed for this child and the Lord has given me my request which I asked of him.
  28. “So also I have given him over to the Lord. All the days of his life he will be given to the Lord.”
    And they worshipped the Lord there.

1 Samuel 3

  1. The boy Samuel was serving the Lord before Eli.
    The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not common.
  2. So it was that at that time Eli was lying in his place – now, his eyes had begun to grow dim, he was not able to see.
  3. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the Ark of God was.
  4. The Lord called to Samuel and he said, “Here I am!”
  5. So he ran to Eli saying, “Here I am because you called me.”
    And Eli said, “I did not call. Go back. Lie down”
    So he went and lay down.
  6. Yet again the Lord called, “Samuel!” So Samuel got up and went to Eli saying, “Here I am for you called me.”
    And Eli said, “I did not call, my son. Go back and lie down.”
  7. Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, for the word of the Lord was not yet revealed to him.
  8. Again the Lord called Samuel, for a third time. So he got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”
    Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the boy.
  9. So Eli said to Samuel, “Go and lie down, and when he calls to you then you will say, ‘Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.’”
    Samuel went and lay down in his place.
  10. Then the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
    Samuel answered, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”
  11. The Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am doing a thing in Israel at which both the ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.
  12. “In that day I will carry out all that I have spoken against Eli concerning his house from beginning to end.
  13. “And I will make known to him that I am the one who judges his house forever for the transgression which he knew, for his sons were blaspheming God and he did not rebuke them.
  14. “And therefore I myself have sworn to the house of Eli that the transgression of the house of Eli shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or by grain offering for ever.”
  15. So Samuel lay down until the morning, then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. But Samuel was afraid of telling the vision to Eli.
  16. Eli called out to Samuel, “Samuel, my son!” and Samuel said, “Here I am.”
  17. So he said, “What was the thing which God spoke to you? Please do not keep it hidden from me. May God do so to you and more also if you hide from me a word from all the matter which he spoke to you.”
  18. So Samuel told him the whole thing and did not hide anything from him.
    And Eli said, “He is the Lord, let him do what is good in his eyes.”
  19. Samuel grew up and the Lord was with him, and he did not let any of his words fall to the ground.
  20. And all Israel knew, from Dan to Beersheba, that Samuel was established as prophet for the Lord.
  21. And again the Lord was appearing in Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.

1 Samuel 4

  1. So the word of Samuel came to all Israel.

translation by Anne G. Fountain

When we pray prayers about our own situation,
we don’t see behind the scenes.

God may be doing something
much greater than we can imagine.

So be encouraged to pray!

Updated on 2017-11-21 by Anne Fountain