A Woman of Prayer
I Samuel 1
I. Hannah’s problem
A. It was consistent with God’s plan vv. 5,6 (Job 2:10; Phil.3:10; I Pet. 4:19; Rom. 8:28)
B. It was complicated by great provocation v. 6 (Mt. 4:1)
C. It was creating genuine pain v. 7 (Lk. 22:41-44; Isa.53:10; II Cor. 4:8-11)
II. Hannah’s portion
A. It was generous v. 5a
B. It was genuine v. 5b
C. It was grievous vv. 7,8
1. It could have stirred her enemy v. 7
2. It could not satisfy her emptiness v. 8
Sometimes the very best that can be done by sincere, well-meaning people is not enough. If it were, we wouldn’t learn to need and cry out to God.
III. Hannah’s prayer
A. It was private vv. 9,12,13 (Mt. 6:6)
B. It was painful vv. 10,16 (I Pet. 5:7)
C. It was promissory v. 11 (Deut. 23:21-22)
D. It was punished v. 14
Sometimes the very people whom you think would encourage and support are the ones who rebuke.
E. It was productive vv. 18,19
In both the old and new testaments, the outward work of the ministry is committed mainly to men. This may cause women to wonder how they can be used. Hannah provides a wonderful answer to that question. Though she could not serve in the temple, she, through her prayer, gave Israel one of the greatest servants the temple ever knew. Used of God from a child, Samuel served with Eli, providing a stark and refreshing contrast to the vile and wicked ministry of his own sons. He went on to be the first of a line of mighty prophets who warned Israel of coming judgment if they did not repent. God even used Samuel after his death to speak to the hardening heart of Saul. May God give us women
of prayer like Hannah in the church today!