For this child I prayed,
and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.
(1 Samuel 1:27 ESV)
Hannah, the mother of Samuel, the Prophet of God, never gave up a desire for a child. Is your desire part of God’s plan for your life?
When my wife and I were first married, we wanted to have children. We prayed for six years with no answer. One day, without being prompted, an Elder in our church asked my wife if she wanted to have children. She replied she did. The Elders prayed over her, and she was pregnant within one to two months. When our daughter arrived, we sent out a birth announcement with 1 Samuel 1:27 inscribed. God had heard our prayers.
Hannah has a situation like ours, but much more complicated. Hannah was barren, but Elkanah, her husband, had another wife, Peninnah, who wasn’t, who often taunted Hannah (1 Samuel 1:6-7). Her husband was somewhat clueless about her feelings and egotistical (1 Samuel 1:8). She also had a spiritual leader, Eli, far from the ideal, judged her falsely (1 Samuel 9-14). Hannah may have had every reason to believe that God had forsaken her.
What was Hannah’s response to the circumstances? First, she wept. That’s right, she cried. As Christians, we often try to live in a spiritualized fantasy land and believe we should not experience grief or sorrow. Yet, Hannah did something critical with her weeping; she prayed. With her sadness, she never forgot that God was still good. In many cases, when we weep, we stop praying. If we stop praying, our weeping will never cease.
Hannah continued to pray, but it was also how she prayed. He told the Lord that if he gave her a son, it would be the Lord’s, not hers. 1 Samuel 2:21 tells us that “she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters.” whatever you hold onto, you lose; what you give to the Lord, you keep. You can never out give God.
Hannah’s desire was part of God’s plan for Samuel to become the great Prophet of all Israel. Samuel means “God has heard,” which he most certainly did for Hannah’s prayers. Don’t be surprised if your desire is God’s dream for you.