Hannah - Getting what you want
Her story is told in 1 Samuel 1, 2.
Cried out to God in times of need.
1 Sam 1:6 But Peninnah made fun of Hannah because the Lord had closed her womb. 7 Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Hannah would finally be reduced to tears and would not even eat…..9 Once when they were at Shiloh, Hannah went over to the Tabernacle after supper to pray to the Lord. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance. 10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord….19 The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her request, 20and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, "I asked the Lord for him."
Hannah knew what she wanted and she did not keep these desires to herself. She poured it out to God in fervent prayer. Many times we do not get what we want because we just don’t ask enough. Have you come to God repeatedly with your requests?
James 4:2 And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it.
Not just prayed, but got someone to agree with her in prayer
1 Sam 1:12As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. 13Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. 14 "Must you come here drunk?" he demanded. "Throw away your wine!" 15 "Oh no, sir!" she replied, "I’m not drunk! But I am very sad, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. 16Please don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow." 17 "In that case," Eli said, "cheer up! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him."
It was not her own doing, but somehow Hannah managed to get Eli, the priest, to agree with her in prayer. And that became a powerful prayer. The Bible teaches that agreement in prayer is an important step when we make our requests to God.
Matthew 18:19 "I also tell you this: If two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20For where two or three gather together because they are mine, I am there among them."
Have you failed to get your prayers answered? Why not share your prayer requests with a friend and pray together in agreement.
Hannah was persistent in her asking
We were told that year after year, Hannah would be tormented by Peninnah. I am sure that Hannah did not stop to plead with God to help her out of her predicament. Jesus also tells us to be persistent when we pray.
Matthew 7:7 "Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened.
Have you given up on what you are praying for? Continue in your prayers and you will receive what you ask from God or something better. PUSH!
Understood that if you want something, dedicate that thing to God.
1 Sam 1:11 And she made this vow: "O Lord Almighty, if you will look down upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut."
Sometimes we don't receive what we ask for because we ask for selfish purposes.
James 4:3 And even when you do ask, you don’t get it because your whole motive is wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
Hannah's original motive may have been wrong. She wanted a baby so that she can be proud of herself again. She later changed her motivation. She knew the best motivation she could have for wanting a child is so that the child can be used of God. And she was right. God honored her prayer from that time onwards because her motivation was right.
Have you been asking for something based on wrong motivation? Perhaps God wants to give that thing to you, but not unless you plan to use it properly, not unless your motivation is right? How can you change your motivation? Let God know how you will dedicate that thing back to Him when He gives it to you.
Had faith in God's promises.
1 Sam 1:17 "In that case," Eli said, "cheer up! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him." 18 "Oh, thank you, sir!" she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.
After receiving a word of confirmation from Eli the priest, Hannah felt much better and was no longer sad. This could be the case only because she believed wholeheartedly in what Eli said and in what God will do. Our emotions reveal the state of our faith. After we have committed something to God, if we continue to feel anxious, we cannot be said to have faith.
What is the state of your emotion today? Are you still anxious about a particular situation even after you have made that request to God? Ask God to forgive you for the lack of faith and to give you more faith. Without faith, it is impossible to receive what we have requested from God.
Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."