Dear God, Part 3: Waiting and Praying
July 16, 2023 / 1 Samuel 1:
Grant Fishbook, Lead Teaching Pastor
1 Samuel 1:1-2
There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
Let’s answer the polygamy question…
Polygamy was never a part of God’s plan. There is no record of a “happy” polygamist family in the Bible. God’s plan was always monogamy (Genesis 2:23-24).
1 Samuel 1:3-7
Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb. Because the LORD had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 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.
Hannah experienced the heartbreaking challenges of:
Infertility (verse 5)
An antagonistic relationship (verses 6-7)
Unanswered prayer (verse 7)
The challenges of Hannah’s life did not her, but they did her.
In a season of challenge, Hannah presses into God while:
Being (verse 7)
This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD…
Being (verses 10-11)
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “LORD Almighty, if you will only look on 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.
Being (verse 12a)
As she kept on praying to the LORD…
Being (verses 12b–15)
Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
“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.”
Being (verse 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.
Being (verses 27–28)
“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.
Being in her relationship with God, knowing he was being faithful in his relationship with her.
1 Samuel 2:1-10
Then Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart rejoices in the LORD;
in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
2 “There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
3 “Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the LORD is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.
4 “The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled
are armed with strength.
5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.
6 “The LORD brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
7 The LORD sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
8 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.
“For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s;
on them he has set the world.
9 He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.”
It is not by strength that one prevails;
10 those who oppose the LORD will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.”
He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
Can I pray like Hannah, in of God’s ?
Small Group Questions
- What is the strangest prayer you have ever prayed?
- What part of Hannah’s challenges can you most relate with? Do challenges make you pray more or less?
- What keeps you from being completely honest with God about how you feel? Why?
- Read Hannah’s prayer out loud. What does God speak to you about himself through this inspired prayer?
- How can you press into God this week acknowledging your greatest need?
- How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?