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Embracing Bold Faith in Uncertainty



Hannah: A Lesson in Bold Faith
“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! Thou hast enlarged me I was in distress. Have mercy upon me and hear my prayer.”–Psalm 4:1 KJV

Recently, I attended a women’s conference on prayer. One of the activities required each group to discuss and present about their assigned woman from the Bible. My table was assigned to Hannah, Samuel's mother. Hannah’s testimony can be found in 1 Samuel Chapters 1 and 2. My group was assigned to discover who Hannah was, what kind of problems she had, her prayers, the result of her prayers, and what we, as present-day Christian women, can apply to our lives.


We searched 1 Samuel 1 and 2, and here’s what we discovered about Hannah’s backstory and her problems.

·      She was Elkanah's favored childless wife of the tribe of Levi (1 Chronicles 6: 16-30).
·      Elkanah had another wife, Peninnah, who had children.
·      Peninnah ridiculed Hannah because she had no children.
·      In those days, having children was a mark of God’s blessing.
·      Hannah deeply desired to have a child, but God had closed her womb.
·      Every year, Hannah’s family group traveled to Shiloh to offer sacrifices to God.
·      Hannah made her request known to God during one of these yearly trips using bold faith.


After searching the scriptures and discussing what we found with the women at my table, we learned about Hannah’s prayers.


·      Hannah prayed to God, trusting he would deliver her despite her uncertainty and the strife and conflict in Elkanah’s house, as the Bible tells us that Peninnah provoked Hannah (1 Samuel 1:6-7, KJV).
·      Hannah used bold faith in prayer to address her sorrow instead of relying on human intervention. We never see Hannah retaliate against Peninnah. However, we noticed she was weary of being ridiculed and needed someone other than her husband, Elkanah, to intervene.
·      She embraced bold faith by using one of God's many names. She called on the Lord of Hosts, also known as the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, to fight her enemy, Peninnah (1 Samuel 1: 11).

The next thing we learned is what we, as present-day Christian women, can apply to our lives.

·      Hannah didn’t just pray; she also worshiped God.
·      Her communication with God was fervent without regard to what others thought.
·      Hannah recognized God as the only one who could help her through her uncertainty and to make her prayers come true.
·      Her time in communion with God allowed her to speak the truth.
·      When wrongfully accused by Eli of being drunk, she respectfully denied the allegation and explained herself.


Throughout our discussion, I could picture Hannah moving quickly and quietly through the crowds in the Tabernacle, looking for solitude to pray. I imagine how she kneeled and cried out to God. Her desire for a child had reached a critical point, and she was so focused on pouring out her grief that she didn’t notice the elderly high priest, Eli. When Eli accused her of being drunk, she boldly rejected his claim—her time in communion with God allowed her to speak the truth. Eli blessed her. Hannah’s sadness and anguish were suddenly gone. Hannah received an answer to her prayer and more. Her son, Samuel, ruled in Israel for over 40 years.


I’ve always loved and cherished Hannah’s example. Her story is one where I see someone pray, and God answers.

This year, Hannah’s example challenged me with several questions that most of us may want to ask ourselves.


·      Have I ever called on God to fight my battle against an unrelenting enemy?
·      Have I patiently waited to see God’s deliverance?
·      When have I trusted the Lord to answer my prayer so much that I made a vow?

As I left the conference, I continued to ponder these questions. I don’t yet have all the answers, but I’m content to head in the right direction and wait patiently as I embrace bold faith.


 



Your Turn: Have you longed deeply for something? Did you pour out your grief and anguish to the Lord? Did you take your request to God year after year? Or did you give up praying? Have you petitioned God to fight for you? What has God asked you to vow?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I love you, but have a deep desire and enemies that need fighting. Despite my uncertainty, I come to you embracing bold faith. I promise to pursue your goodness and mercy with an expectant heart as I wait for you to answer my prayer. Amen.

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Vonyee, your article brings me to tears. I love Hannah also but I realize how often I've given up on God to answer my prayers. Tears stream down my cheeks in sorrow and for repentance. But I'm also encouraged to get back into the fight for my family. Thank you for lifting my arms just as Aaron and Hur did for Moses at the Red Sea. You've spurred me on, my sister in Christ. Thank you.

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