Kathy Gibb / November 14, 2012
In 1 Samuel (1 Samuel 1:9-28) we meet Hannah, a barren woman who went to the temple in Shiloh to pray or rather beseech God for a child. She and her husband, Elkanah, were childless. She promised God that if she were to have a child she would give the child back to Him. In fact, she was praying so hard that Eli, the priest at Shiloh, accused her of being drunk. She told Eli that she was a deeply troubled woman who was crying out to God. Eli told her to go in peace because God had granted her petition. In due course, she gave birth to a baby boy who they named Samuel – meaning I asked the Lord for him.
How easy it would have been to tell God she was just kidding about giving her child to the temple. But she kept her promise and took Samuel to live with Eli the priest. He spent his childhood assisting in the temple upkeep and learning how to be a priest. His parents visited him whenever they came to the temple to pray. As Hannah left her child, she shared this final blessing, “For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.”
Hannah and her husband Elkanah went on to have several other children (1 Samuel 1:27-28). Samuel became an outstanding prophet priest for Israel serving for his entire life. It was he who anointed both Saul and David the first and second kings of Israel.
Have any of you ever prayed your heart out for or over a child? It is said that “the brightest stars in heaven are those parent prayers being poured out to God.” If you are a parent, perhaps you can identify with Hannah who prayed for her child for a lifetime even as she released him into God’s care.
When you were a child, who prayed for you? Let us praise God for all the “Hannah’s” in our lives. This we know for sure: pray for people and children receive a powerful blessing.