J.R. Milller tells a story of a time when he walked in on his mother. He says,
“ Once I suddenly opened the door of mother’s room, and saw her on her knees beside her chair, and heard her speak my name in prayer. I quickly and quietly withdrew, with a feeling of awe and reverence in my heart. Soon I went away from home to school, then to college, then into life’s sterner duties.
But I never forgot that one glimpse of my mother at prayer, nor the one word—my name—which I heard her utter.
As I read that story I think of my mother. I don’t remember a time walking in on her to hear her pray for me, but I know that she did. I know that she prayed for me before I was born, and still prays for me today.
Mothers, I can assure you today, though I know very little about being a mother, that one thing that you can do in order to help your sons and daughters grow up to be godly men and women is pray. In all things pray for them, God is listening , even in this world that is full of sin. Even in this world that is broken and hurting. Our Lord always hear our cries.
Today, we will look into the life of one woman who was angry and sad, when she cried out to God, and the Lord faithfully answered her prayer. Giving her more than she asked for.
The book of Judges sets the stage for our story as it ends, “In those days Israel had no King, everyone did as he saw fit.
It is precisely here that the book of Samuel picks up, It is a time of corruption and chaos in Israel, because everyone simply did as he saw fit. They had no earthly king and we find that they are rejecting God as their King.
The priesthood gives evidence to their corruption as they are described as being full of wickedness. Samuel 2:12 says, Eli’s sons were wicked men, they had no regard for the Lord.
God’s chosen priests were treating the sacrifices with contempt, and were sleeping with the women at the Tent of Meetings.
It is in this corrupt and broken setting in which one Godly woman stands out, a young woman who is sad and angry because she cannot seem to have any children.
Adding to her anguish, Her rival, Elkanah’s other wife, continually provoked her bringing her to tears.
Until finally Hannah cries out to God, a god who always listens, even to the person who is sad, angry, and hurting., God listens.
Lets read beginning in verse Samuel 1:10.
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."
I cannot try to tell you what Hannah was going through.
I don’t have a clue the hurt, anger, and sadness that she must of felt, as she tried and tried to have kids, but all to no avail. Some of you ladies understand exactly Hannah’s hurt. Some of you this morning have tried and tried, and you have indeed prayed and prayed that you might be given children. I admit to you this morning, I don’t understand. I don’t know why?
I wish that I could tell you this morning, pray again, and he will give you a child, but I cannot say that.
All I can honestly say this morning, is that God indeed hears your cries.
This is where we find Hannah. Crying out to God. She says, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.”
So today I encourage you that our Lord does hear us, when we are deeply troubled.
Cry to him and he will listen, and he will answer, in his time and according to his will.
I want you to understand today that our Lord answers the prayers of the faithful. He always, answers our prayers, and sometimes he even answers our prayers according to our desires.
Psalm 37:4 exhorts us to delight in the Lord, and he will give us the desires of our heart.
However, In this passage we find another sweet truth, here we find that sometimes even when we find ourselves not delighting in the Lord, when we find ourselves downcast, angry, or deeply hurt. S
Sometimes even then, when we cry out to our Lord, he will give us the desires of our hearts. Just as the Lord, now gives Hannah what her heart desires.
Let us read beginning in verse 17.
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,[c] saying, "Because I asked the Lord for him."
At this point in the story we find that Hannah is overjoyed with what God has given her, but we also find that Hannah has to do something that is all too difficult for all of us parents.
You see when Hannah prayed for Samuel, she promised the Lord that she would give him back. Let’s read!
Hannah Dedicates Samuel
21 When the man Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vow, 22 Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, "After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always."
23 "Do what seems best to you," Elkanah her husband told her. "Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the Lord make good his[d] word." So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.
24 After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull,[e] an ephah[f] of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. 25 When they had slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli, 26 and she said to him, "As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 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.
This is where things get difficult friends. This is where we are forced to let go of our kids. If we truly want them to be godly men and women, we have to give them back to the Lord. No matter what! Hannah has to give Samuel to the priest. This priest, Eli already has sons who are wicked in the eyes of the Lord.
Yet she gives her son Samuel over in order that he might grow up learning to serve the Lord.
We also must give our kids over to the Lord, for whatever he desires, however painful it might be.
If the Lord calls them to serve him in Africa, we can’t say, “just preach the gospel here”. If the Lord calls your kids to the military, we can’t say no, find something else.
We must raise our kids in the Lord, and then give them over to the Lord, completely trusting his will.
This my friends is much easier said than done.
My daughter is not even 2, and even now I have difficulties trusting that the Lord knows what he is doing, but he does.
He always comes through.
All we can do is pray, trust, and rejoice in the Lord.
Just as Hannah rejoices, after giving Samuel over.
We find this in 1 Samuel 2
1 Then Hannah prayed and said:
"My heart rejoices in the Lord;
in the Lord my horn[g] is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
2 "There is no one holy[h] 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 hunger 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[i] 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;
upon them he has set the world.
9 He will guard the feet of his saints,
but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.
"It is not by strength that one prevails;
10 those who oppose the Lord will be shattered.
He will thunder against them 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."
11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the Lord under Eli the priest.
Because of one mother’s faithful prayers and her willingness to dedicate her child to the Lord.
Israel had some time of peace. The Lord used Samuel to break the chaos of the corrupt priesthood, and ultimately to anoint the godly Kind David.
A mother’s prayer truly makes a difference.
Like the story told by Billy Sunday, which tells of a minister who was making calls. He came to a certain home and asked for the mother but the child opening the door answered, “You cannot see mother for she prays from nine to ten.”
He waited forty minutes to see that mother, and when she came out of her prayer closet the light of glory was on her face, and he knew why that home was so bright; he knew why her two sons were in the ministry and her daughter a missionary. “
I encourage you today, be that praying mother or father, and see what the Lord will do.