“Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: ‘O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.’


As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. ‘Must you come here drunk?’ he demanded. ‘Throw away your wine!’
‘Oh no, sir!’ she replied. ‘I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. 16 Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.’
‘In that case,’ Eli said, ‘go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.’
‘Oh, thank you, sir!’ she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad. The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, ‘I asked the Lord for him’.” 1 Samuel 1:9-19 (NLT)



Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Hannah was not able to have children, and it became a point of family dissension. While Elkanah would try to console Hannah, Hannah’s sadness and disappointment over her lack of children overshadowed her life. On their yearly journey to the Tabernacle to worship God, Hannah snuck away to pray. Her grief over the situation overwhelmed her to the point she was mistaken to be drunk. After she had poured out her request before the Lord, the sadness that had characterized her life for so long dissipated. While it seemed that nothing had changed in the physical, God heard Hannah’s request and remembered her. In the last part of verse 19, the Message version says, “God began making the necessary arrangements in response to what she had asked.” God saw Hannah’s heartache and her tears, and her prayers began to change the course of her life. God was working in her midst to bring about the answer in due time.


You may find yourself in a similar position as Hannah as you have wrestled with disappointment for years. Life may have not turned out like you hoped, and you feel like disappointment has overshadowed you. When we look to the Lord, we can be confident that God hears us and doesn’t overlook our tears. He doesn’t overlook you. He sees you with empty arms that have resulted from miscarriages or infertility. He sees you with an empty home that has been full of strife. He sees you with your broken heart that has been ravished by the trials and tragedies of life. He sees you on your knees, day after day, crying out for an answer. Your prayers can change the course of your life by igniting a powerful God to work in impossible ways. Even if you have prayed a thousand times, keep praying, keep seeking, keep believing. God will show up in a tangible way in due time, because He is already working in response to your prayers.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. 

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About Hona Amer

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