Hannah’s Prayer-Part 2

1 Samuel 2:6-10

6“The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. 7The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. 8He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; on them he has set the world. 9He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. “It is not by strength that one prevails; 10those who oppose the Lord will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

Game 7

Have you watch the NBA (national Basketball Association) Game 7 between Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers? It was an unprecedented win for the Raptors. Kawhi Leonard scored as time expired in the regulation period.

There are controversial articles written about Kawhi. Have you heard about him? While others focused on his unusual behavior, other preferred to highlight his basketball skills. If you were to write an article about Kawhi, what would it be? Certainly, you will only write what you know, heard or read about him, right?

Similarly, we praise God for what we have experienced with Him. What do we praise Him for? Do we praise for things we don’t know about Him? Shouldn’t we praise Him for what we have known and experienced about Him?

When their enemies were about to attack Jerusalem, King Jehoshaphat declared God’s for His work in Israel. He says in 2 Chronicles 20:6-7, 6Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 7Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?

Jehoshaphat appealed to the sovereign power of the Lord. We praise God for what He has done that affected us directly or indirectly.

In comparison, Hannah declared the sovereignty of God after her prayer had been granted. She praised God for what she personally experienced. When she declared the sovereignty of the Lord, was it her personal experience?

1. Sovereignty

6“The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.

The declaration of Hannah that ‘the Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up,’ was a proclamation of the sovereignty of God. The supreme power and authority of the Lord became is apparently exclusive only to Him because He can bring the dead person back to life. Surely, humans can kill but cannot raise someone from the dead.

Hannah personally experienced the sovereign power of the Lord when she gave birth to Samuel. Even if her husband Elkanah loved her very much, Hannah knew that she cannot be pregnant because she was barren, incapable of giving birth. She may have felt like her womb was unproductive, figuratively dead.

When she earnestly prayed in bitter anguish, the Lord granted her prayer to have a son. It’s like her womb come to life, capable to reproduce or give birth.

7The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. 8He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; on them he has set the world.

To personally experience financial difficulties help appreciate abundance. To acknowledge God with needs and luxuries, promotion or demotion, is to recognize His sovereignty over situations. And it should follow that we trust Him for things He allows to happen as crucial or integral part of His design for us.

Hannah expressed praises of what God can do according to understanding that the Lord gave her. Where did Hannah learn about God? How did she come up of practical truths that she declared about God? How could she believe and proclaim the sovereignty of the Lord? Did God speak through her?

It says in Romans 8:26-28, 26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

The Holy Spirit helps us understand and conceptualize everything that the Lord wants to reveal to us. By faith in Christ, we can intimately know the Lord, not just head knowledge. Christ’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God helps us accept with certainty that He allows things to happen because of His special purposes.

Do you have certainty that all things work for your good? When the Spirit of Christ takes control of our life, we will sense an assurance of peace in our heart.

When the Lord prevented Hannah not to have a child for extended time, she was teased and irritated by Peninnah, Hannah’s character was exposed. She felt bad but did not retaliate. She prayed more earnestly than ever instead. Tough times helped her grew more dependent upon the Lord, and God granted her prayer. As her request, she had her son Samuel served the Lord all his life.

Difficulties in life exposes if we truly believe that God’s plan is better than our ideas. We wish to have something similar to others, finances, health, privileges, and many more. It’s normal! And, if we sincerely believe that Christ has saved us from eternal death, He can easily save us from temporal hardship.

2. Savior

9He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. “It is not by strength that one prevails; 10those who oppose the Lord will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

When the Lord granted Hannah’s prayer and she praised Him, Israel had no king yet at that time. Hannah may have heard about kings of other nations. When she declared that the Lord exalts His anointed king, some Bible scholars suggest that Hannah may have prophesied that Israel will have a king very soon. Eventually her son Samuel had anointed King Saul, the first king of Israel.

Hannah’s prayer exemplifies when God speaks to us even in our prayers.

How do you pray? Before praying, do you list items you wish to pray for? Most often, we praise God for who He is. Shouldn’t we praise Him for what we know?

If praises come from our mind, from our idea, we can only praise God for what we personally experience of Him, what He did in our life. But when His Spirit prevails in us, we express praises and prayers according to the revelation He wants us to say. We don’t just guess or proclaim randomly about God.

Apostle Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:17-22, 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Certainly, we need the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to be enlightened and know what God has called us, His special purposes for us. Why is that?

Most often, we follow the inclination of our hearts, our passion. Others do something they deem profitable or just test their personal ability extensively.

If you’re tired doing things you supposed to be for your best, if you feel like your direction in life is going nowhere, consider asking the Lord to fill you with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation for you to discern and be clear which career path He wants you to take. The Spirit of wisdom and revelation is the Spirit of Christ.

It says in 1 Corinthians 1:24-25, 24Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Such reality is accessible to believer but can only be utilized through faith. Allowing Christ to decide for us, lead us, and guide our steps, we’ll never be sorry again. There’s joy and peace in life when Christ reigns and prevails in us.

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