This was a good day, a day to celebrate.
The Lord had opened Hannah’s womb and given her a child – Samuel. Hannah who had previously come to the temple crying was now back, singing songs of praise to God. God had answered her prayer. And she fulfilled her vow by bringing Samuel back to the temple to give him back to the Lord. (1 Samuel 1:27-28).
Hannah’s prayer is so special and there is a lot we can learn from it.
Hannah rejoiced in God who had made her strong. She praised God who rescued her and gave her an answer for her enemies. (1 Samuel 2:1)
Hannah worshiped God. She exalted him. Pouring out her adoration she said, “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” (1 Samuel 2:2)
Her prayer has caution words of wisdom and advice.
To those who are proud and haughty and speak with arrogance, Hannah says stop this! Because God knows what we do and he will judge our actions. (1 Samuel 2:3)
She prays to a God who can turn things around.
Hannah recognises God’s divine retribution and says the bow of the mighty is now broken and those who stumbled are now strong. (1 Samuel 2:4)
She was weak once and her rival Peninnah caused her grief but now the Lord had strengthened her. 1 Samuel 1:7 says, “Whenever Hannah went up to the House of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.” But now in Hannah’s prayer she says, those who were well fed are now starving, and those who were starving are now full. (1 Samuel 2:5)
Hannah prays to the God who does more than we ask.
Hannah’s rival Peninnah had provoked her because Hannah was unable to have children and yet Peninnah had sons and daughters. (1 Samuel 1).
As Hannah prays we can see that God has blessed her with more than she asked him for, in 1 Samuel 2:5 she says, “The childless woman now has seven children, and the woman with many children now wastes away.”
Hannah’s prayer magnifies the Lord’s power and justice.
For his power, Hannah honours God as the one who gives death, bringing some down to the grave but also who gives life and raises others up. Who makes some poor and others rich. Who brings some down and lifts others up. (1 Samuel 2:6-7). Hannah has seen this in her life, she set her hope and trust in God and he answered her prayer.
For his justice, Hannah honours a God who lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honour. (1 Samuel 2:8)
Hannah glorifies the Lord as being in control of things and how they happen and declares, “For the earth is the Lord’s and he has set the world in order.” (1 Samuel 2:8).
In her final words in this prayer, Hannah tells of the Lord’s ways.
She says, “He will protect his faithful ones, but the wicked will disappear in darkness. No one will succeed by strength alone. Those who fight against the Lord will be shattered. He thunders against them from heaven; the Lord judges throughout the earth. He gives power to his king; he increases the strengthof his anointed one.” (1 Samuel 2:9-10)
All of these are the things we can learn from Hannah’s prayer. Hannah’s situation seemed impossible. She cried out to God and our good Father in heaven answered her prayer beyond what she had prayed for. The bible teaches us that God always hears us when we pray.
Hannah believed God and received what she had asked of him.
Like Hannah, will you say a prayer and ask God to do for you the impossible?
Only believe and yours will be a testimony of praising God just like Hannah.