When the sacrifice had been offered, and they had eaten the meal, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli was sitting in his chair near the door to the place of worship. Hannah was brokenhearted and was crying as she prayed. â€œLORD All -Powerful, I am your servant, but I am so miserable! Please let me have a son. I will give him to you for as long as he lives, and his hair will never be cut.â€
Hannah prayed silently to the LORD for a long time. But her lips were moving, and Eli thought she was drunk. â€œHow long are you going to stay drunk?â€ he asked. â€œSober up!â€
â€œSir, please, don’t think I’m no good!â€ Hannah answered. â€œI’m not drunk, and I haven’t been drinking. But I do feel miserable and terribly upset. I’ve been praying all this time, telling the LORD about my problems.â€
Eli replied, â€œYou may go home now and stop worrying. I’m sure the God of Israel will answer your prayer.â€ 1 Samuel 1:9-17 (CEV)
Hannah weeping and wailing for her child, as yet unborn and un-conceived! Hannah does what I have done before â€“ she makes a bargain with God. â€œIf you give me a son, I will give him back to you.â€ And she continues to pray. To me, it seems she is praying in the Spirit, like Paul said in Romans 8:26. Many times when we see people praying from that deep place in their heart, with words that the Holy Spirit can discern (or with just tears and groans), we might think them a bit ‘off’ as Eli thought Hannah was drunk! We might even think that we should stop this! But WAIT! Maybe the wise course of action would be to pray for them, that God would intervene in His way to meet the person’s need. That would take the judgmental factor out, wouldn’t it? Praise God that Eli does heart the truth of Hannah’s words and give her a pastoral blessing, not a further rebuke!
Hannah takes seriously her promise to God and when God blesses her with a son, she is obedient to bring Samuel to serve in the Lord’s temple. Hannah had a strong prayer life. This is a characteristic of a Godly mother. It’s not who you are to the world. It’s who you are to God. Hannah also spoke intimately to God. She asked from her heart and in her bargain, she gave all she had. Hannah was also learning great patience. She was learning the blessing that comes with waiting on the Lord. She continued to pray. Waiting on the Lord doesn’t mean that I do not continue to pray and talk to God about my need. I learn patience in trials. Patience and persistence in my labor called prayer is refining fire that brings my prayer weapon from a ‘scatter gun’ to a ‘laser’ that pierces the heart of the need. By giving her child to God, Hannah was preparing Samuel for life. She brought him to the House of the Lord and told him that serving God was his primary service or ‘call’ in life. That didn’t make Samuel a preacher. That made him a servant in whatever plan God had for him. I am to teach my children and grandchildren about the Lord, no matter how old they are or I am!