Hannah’s Prayer and Worship

Hannah is an example of a person who faced a challenge in life.  She had a specific need and concern.  She turned to God and she overcame her hardship.  Prayer and worship were evidence of her relationship with God and trust in Him. 

Hannah prayed to God concerning her need. 

She talked to God about her condition.  She had a genuine relationship and encounters with God; she poured her soul out to the Lord.  Her relationship was not scripted lines but honest feelings and genuine.   She persevered in her coming to God with her need.  Year after year, she came before God with her plight.  She did not give up.  How many of us have ceased praying for something or some situation or condition?  We’ve accepted the condition as something that nothing can be done about it.  Whether this is the case or not in our own lives, she believed that if anyone can change her situation, God can.  The answer to our prayers may not be the way we might expect to see it answered, but God does answer our prayers.

 The fact that Eli the priest thought she was drunk is a commentary to the state of what worship had degenerated under Eli and his sons.  Maybe the fact that he observed her lips moving is a statement that people typically did not move their lips because they did not take time to talk to God.  Maybe the people just came, gave their offerings, and left.  Eli was not used to seeing someone really conversing with God or actually connecting with God.  When you come to church, irrespective of the music or the message, do you talk to God during your time here?  Has coming to church become a spectator thing rather than a participation thing?

Hannah worshipped the Lord despite her condition… “Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah.”  Hannah worshipped the Lord because she knew God was the only one who could understand and help her.  Hannah worshipped the Lord in faith that God would answer her prayer.  How many of us in our trial or hardship refrain from fully worshipping Him, waiting until God does something before we acknowledge Him.  Her worship was not a way to manipulate God into answering her prayer but purely out of knowing who God is.  Praise and worship is the acknowledgement of who God is not just what he does for us.   Worship commits our “Be-ing” to the One who created us.  She praised God before He answered her prayer and she praised him after He answered her prayer.  Our praise and testimonies are our experiences of the reality of God in our lives.  Our Christian testimonies are about God working in our lives.  She did not forget to give thanks and acknowledge the work of God in her life.

In prayer, there is no formula. 

  • No quick and easy solution.  No quick fixes or remedies.  
  • Just plain simple talking to God.

We have to do our part in fulfilling the answer of our prayer.  Hannah and Elkanah did their part, and so in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son.  You can’t pray for a job if you don’t go submit an application or go for an interview.  Being lazy, procrastinating, stubborn, bitter, unforgiving, prideful are just some of the things that are in OUR control that will short circuit God’s answer to our prayer.

 “The Lord remembered” does not imply that He has forgotten, but rather that He is now going to bring His answer to Hannah’s prayer and unfold His purposes.

Hannah kept her word to the Lord.

Parents, to dedicate your children to the Lord is an act of worship.  Remember that they are an inheritance and gift from the Lord.  Don’t take your children for granted.

Hannah worshipped the Lord with all her being.

  • 2:1-10 – This beautiful song of praise provides a model for Mary’s song of thanksgiving in Luke 1:46-55.
  • 2:1 – Her whole personality is involved in praising the Lord:  heart, the very center of her being; horn, strength.  I smile is literally, “My mouth is opened wide.”
  • 2:5 This is a reference to Hannah and her adversary, Peninnah.  The Lord can take circumstances and turn them completely around, as He did for Hannah.

Summary

Hannah was a person of prayer and worship.  Life’s circumstances did not cause her to cease living out her relationship with God.  Instead, it was in the circumstances of her life, her condition and the irritation of Peninnah that brought her closer to God and the experience of the living God in her life.  Hannah faced a challenge, but she OVERCAME it not on her own strength but the grace of God.