How Hannah Prayed

Holy BibleThe opening chapter of 1 Samuel begins with the birth of Samuel. His mother Hannah had been married to Elkanah, a Levite priest, for a number of years. It was hoped that Elkanah’s son would someday perform the sacrificial rites that were associated with the priests. Hannah went to the temple and prayed that the Lord might open her womb and give to her a child. She prayed so emphatically that Eli the priest thought her to be drunk. Hannah answered confidently that she was not drunk, but rather troubled in spirit. She had been pouring out her soul before the Lord.

Scripture does not tell us the specific words of Hannah’s prayer, but we do know that she was praying fervently. 1 Samuel 1:15 quotes Hannah as saying, “I am a woman troubled in spirit… I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.” She had endured mockery by another woman for her barrenness. She was in danger of being unable to continue her husband’s priestly line. She knew that the Lord was capable of giving her a son. She didn’t know if that would happen, but she took her prayer to the Lord anyway. She did not tell herself, “I’m gonna get myself a baby.” She didn’t have to consider “which doctor can ‘make’ a baby for me.” Rather, she prayed the prayer of a believer in Christ, “Thy will be done, Lord.” She trusted that the Lord would grant to her those things that were best for her, and in His timing.

May each of us pray similarly, “Thy will be done, Lord.”