Hannah’s prayer shows us that all we have and receive is on loan from God. Hannah might have had many excuses for being a possessive mother. But when God answered her prayer, she kept her promise to dedicate Samuel to God’s service.
She discovered that the greatest joy in having a child is to give that child fully and freely back to God. She entered motherhood prepared to do what all mothers must eventually do – – let go of their children.
When children are born, they are completely dependent upon their parents for all their basic necessities. This causes some parents to forget those same children grow towards independence within the space of a few short years. Being sensitive to the different stages of that healthy process will greatly strengthen family relationships; resisting or denying that process will cause great pain. We must gradually let go of our children in order to allow them to become mature, interdependent adults.
Strengths and accomplishments:
- Mother of Samuel, Israel’s greatest judge
- Fervent in worship; effective in prayer
- Willing to go through with even a costly commitment
Weakness and mistake:
- Struggled with her sense of self-worth because she was unable to have children
Lessons from her life:
- God hears and answers prayer
- Our children are gifts from God
- God is concerned for the oppressed and afflicted
- Where: Ephraim
- Occupation: Housewife
- Relatives: Husband: Elkanah. Son: Samuel. Later, three other sons and two daughters
- Contemporary: Eli, the priest
Key verses: “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. I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he shall be given over to the LORD’ “ (1 Samuel 1:26-28).
Her story is told in 1 Samuel 1, 2.