Hannah’s Prophetic Prayer

Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer told a story on the subject of prayer. It seems that a certain minister was in the habit of giving profound prayers, oftentimes resorting to words beyond the comprehension of his simple flock. This went on week after week, to the dismay and frustration of … More


This is one of the great prayers of Scripture. Hannah praises God through a poetic prayer for a son and all that God has done (vv. 1-10). We can learn from this passage that God sometimes withholds His blessings from those who walk uprightly, but only for a time. We cannot explain why but it appears that it was God’s will for Hannah to be barren. Twice we are told that “Yahweh had closed her womb. As time passed she may have questioned why her prayers were not answered. In Hannah’s world, just as it is in ours, it is easy for us to forget that God is in control.  She saw God:

1. As her strength (v. 1). “Mine horn” speaks of strength to hold on to.

2. As solid as a rock (v. 2). The “chief corner stone” referring to Christ - (I Peter 2:6).

3. As the one who knows what we do (v. 3). Our prayers must be in accordance with His will.

4. As Sovereign over everything (vv. 4-9). Only by God’s power can anything be accomplished.

5. As the one who administers perfect justice (v. 10). The “anointed” one.

This is one of the great verses of Scripture and the first one to refer to the name Messiah. The word “anointed” is the Hebrew word Messiah. It is translated as Christ in English. It is the title of our precious Lord Jesus.

Samuel found himself in a very difficult situation as he ministered and helped Eli in the temple (v.11). It might sound as though Samuel was being left in a place of protection and shelter. The tabernacle should have been a place like that, but unfortunately it was not as we will see in the following verses. Some of young Samuel’s responsibilities would have included opening the tabernacle doors each morning, cleaning the furniture, and sweeping the floor. As Samuel grew he became Eli’s helper or assistant. He also would have assisted Eli in offering sacrifices. Because Samuel was Eli’s helper he was also God’s helper. When we serve others, even in carrying out ordinary tasks, we are serving the Lord. Because we are serving the Lord, every job we do is important.


Like Hannah, I should be confident in God’s ultimate control over the events in my life, and I  should be thankful for the ways God has blessed me. In our fast paced world, friends come and go, and circumstances change, it is hard to find a solid foundation that will not change. The possessions that we work so hard to obtain will all pass away, but God never fails.

I Samuel 2:1-11 (English Standard Version)

And Hannah prayed and said, "My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. "There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and on them he has set the world. "He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed." Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. And the boy ministered to the LORD in the presence of Eli the priest.

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