Pray Like Hannah and Give It to God

We all have it. Those lingering things we beg God for. Sometimes they quietly ache in the back of our mind when we pray and other times, we have the whole congregation begging God on our behalf.  We’ve done the right things. We haven’t committed any of the big sins like murder or adultery. Don’t we deserve the blessing of God? Shouldn’t we be given what our good behavior has earned us?

Hannah knew our plight. She had begged God for years for a child while watching her husband conceive with another woman. Month after month, year after year, baby after baby, she waited and wondered and wept. She was a good woman and it seemed like a simple request. So year after year, she got on her knees in prayer.

“She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, ‘O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.’” – 1 Samuel 1:10-11, ESV

Hannah fell before her Lord and knew exactly what where she stood. She didn’t deserve a baby. None of us deserve our blessings, that’s why they are blessings. We have all fallen short and stand before God desperately lost. Over and over again, we fall short. Assuming the best in ourselves and seeing bad parents, those who mismanage their abundance of money, and those who wife who doesn’t treat her husband as wonderfully as we would.

Nothing that comes our way is based on our merit. As my husband reminds me regularly, Ecclesiastes tells us that it rains on the good and the bad. God blesses all of us more than we deserve, not because we deserve it, but because in His mercy, He lavishes us with much more than we deserve.

God blesses all of us more than we deserve, not because we deserve it, but because in His mercy, He lavishes us with much more than we deserve. Click To Tweet

But it ultimately all His.

When Hannah prayed, she realized that nothing God would give her would be her own to hold. Whatever He gave her was not her just payment, but a free gift for her to hold with open hands.

When we are praying, when we are living, we need to remember that what we’ve been given is a gift from God. It is not to hoard, but to bless others. When we pray, our focus should not be on selfish desires but on blessing the greater Church. Be it a child, a spouse, a raise, or healing, the glory of God and the growth of His Kingdom should be at the forefront of our mind.

God has opened my eyes to the generosity of His Church in many ways. When I was in Hawaii, friends loaned me their cars and their homes. No matter what, I have always known that I would be cared for by the Church. Because the people surrounding me always viewed their blessings as Hannah did, with open hands.

They knew that their cars, homes, money, and time was not their own.

When Hannah prayed, she realized that nothing God would give her would be her own to hold. Whatever He gave her was not her just payment, but a free gift for her to hold with open hands. Click To Tweet

Excessive generosity was displayed by Hannah in the life of her child. When the Lord blessed her, she fulfilled her promise. After beginning her son, Samuel’s, life in the ways of the Lord, she took him to the Temple to be raised by the priests. The Lord blessed her and with open hands, she held her son, offering him back to God.

She prayed boldly and offered boldly. And her little prayer in Samuel is an example for us all to look to when we are begging God to hear our prayers.

But no matter what God answers, we need to open our lives up for the growth of His kingdom and the healthy of His Church, rain or shine. For some, that looks like sharing our stories with the Church and reminding others that faithfulness to God isn’t dependent on everything going our way. For others, that might look like sharing faithfully the gifts God has sent our way.

When we are on our knees, when we are asking God why, we need to remember why He does bless us. We need to take inventory of our lives and to question how we are stewarding the blessings we have already been given. And we need to remember what God has called us to do with the blessings He sends our way.

If you liked this, you might also enjoy: 

Growing in Prayer

Reclaiming Womanhood and Motherhood in the Midst of Infertility

No Answer: Waiting for an Unanswered Prayer

Disciplines of the Faith: 5 Tools to Deepen Your Prayer Life 

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  1. This was so good to read as I am focusing more on my relationship with God lately! Thanks for a great post that was much needed today!

  2. What a blessing to have experienced such a generous church! My family has been blessed with a generous church body as well and it just makes us praise Jesus for his amazing goodness!

  3. Was discussion this topic with friends this week. We are stewards over the things God has blessed us with—they are not our own and are meant to be shared with others. Hannah is the perfect example of consecrating all she had to the Lord. Beautiful reminder for us to become more like Hannah!

  4. This is beautiful Bailey!!! I loved the entire thing and was so convicted but this thought got straight to my heart. “When we pray, our focus should not be on selfish desires but on blessing the greater Church. Be it a child, a spouse, a raise, or healing, the glory of God and the growth of His Kingdom should be at the forefront of our mind.” Thank you for the reminder to be focused on God’s glory and the good of His people — in this way we reflect His heart!

  5. This reminds me of something my best friend and I were talking about yesterday. We were discussing prayer and how to explain to people that no matter what God does in answer to our prayers, He is still good and knows much better than we do. That’s not always easy to remember, but it’s the truest answer.

  6. Encouraging post. I am currently dealing with issues with my daughter who just turned 17 yrs of age. She left the house today with her boyfriend that she’s known for 2 months. She totally flipped and don’t recognize who she is by doing this. She dropped her college courses and I’m not sure if she will continue going to high school. I’ve been in distress and suffering for her doing this. I feel like the world is coming down on me. This post is reminding me of who to put my focus on. She is a gift to me from God and I am turning my Focus on Gods blessings and his grace and mercy for us. I trust that God will delivery us from this mess and bring something good out of this situation. Requesting Prayers for my daughter .

    • Oh Linda, covering you and your precious daughter tonight. He sees and He knows.
      If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend the book Seasons of Waiting by Betsey Childs Howard. It goes through several types of waiting and longing we experience. One of those longings is for a prodigal child. God is working even now in the midst of this.

  7. I love the story of Hannah! There is so much we can learn from her. I agree that God does answer all our prayer, the hard part is waiting for His will and knowing that we may not get what we pray for but that God has the better plan.

  8. I know the important take away from this post is trusting in God, however, I AM OBSESSED WITH YOUR MUG! “Jesus, Meet Me Here” is giving me all types of feels! Currently going to look for one so I can find my inner peace a little bit better 🙂

  9. Enjoyed this! Remembering his blessings As we pray is so important and shifts our focus from “why me” to “thank you!” Thanks for sharing!!

  10. It can be so hard to let go and just trust that God’s will for us is best when we so desperately want something. And that if it’s His will, we’ll get it in His time frame. This is a great reminder of what we need to do.

  11. Well written, thank you for sharing this with us. I have loved the Lord for 41 yrs and there are always new things to learn in His word! His mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness.

  12. The message here was great, but I suggest proofreading your work before posting. There were certain grammatical errors that made it difficult to understand what you were trying to say, and therefore it distracted from the whole piece. Keep trying, though; I think with a little more practice this could be a good platform for you to spread God’s Word.

  13. This is a beautiful expression of how one is to live! I am so grateful to have come across this. It truly blesses and challenges me in entirety! Thank you so much for sharing.

  14. There have been a few times I have cried my eyes out while praying and other times mostly very calm and sincere. Always remember to give thanks for what you have before start asking for something. On his time line not ours, open that conversation doorway everyday.

    • It brings a whole new gravity to the situation when we can relate with the Bible stories on such an intensely personal level. Thank you for sharing.

  15. This is something I’ve been focusing on lately. I’ve been trying to be more thankful for the things God has given me. I’ve found it really makes a difference!

  16. Thanks for sharing this! Hannah is such a great example of faith through her sadness. I know that pain of longing for a child and not receiving one. It’s hard and at times I’m ashamed to say my faith wore thin. But He gives us grace. I’m so thankful for that.

  17. I’ve been working my way through Samuel so this post was perfectly timed. 😉 I love Hannah’s faithfulness and am in awe of her long awaited child right back to God. I think we can do that with our own children (in a sense) and give our fears and worries about them to Him. So much easier said than done! Loved this post!

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