Saturday, September 21, 2013

Faith: Trusting God Through Prayer 1 Samuel 1:7-20

I feel like the story of Hannah is one I connect with. Not because she and I have suffered the exact same situation, but because I feel a connection to her heart, to her longing.  I get this image in my mind that we would have been friends if we lived in the same time and place.
Sooo.... Here's the passage (with Verse 6 included because it reads differently in the NIV than it does in the translation on the app):

6 And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. 8 Elkanah her husband would say to her, "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?" 9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD's temple. 10 In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. 11 And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head." 12 As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine." 15 "Not so, my lord," Hannah replied, "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief." 17 Eli answered, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him." 18 She said, "May your servant find favor in your eyes." Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. 19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the LORD for him."

I think the thing that sticks out to me the most is the attitude change that Hannah underwent after praying.  Before, she was bitter in her soul, filled with anguish and longing,so much so, that she wouldn't even eat the portions her husband gave her. She is so troubled in her spirit that the priest did not consider her behavior normal. :-) But after she poured her heart out to God,  Scripture says that she went away, ate something, and that her face was no longer downcast. 

That's the thing that just stuck out to me best.  Hannah's faith in God changed her attitude toward her circumstances.  She did not continue to dwell on what broke her heart, but instead walked away in good spirits, and she did so without a promise that she would recieve what she asked for. Perhaps there is a link between faith an attitude?

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