7.14.19 - Hannah and Samuel (Ivy Connelly)
SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 1-2:26; 3:1-4:1
The beautiful, genuine faith of Hannah is on full display in this story. Hannah is a beloved but barren wife, and because of this, she is ridiculed by her community, misunderstood by her husband, and feels unseen by her God. But Hannah pursues God anyway, praying with passion and full emotion when her family goes to worship. She is just a normal, hurting woman...yet she puts the full weight of her hope into her prayers, daring to believe that her God is real, that He hears her, that He sees her tears, and that He is able to change her circumstances. When God does, she faces what seems to be a difficult decision: she gives her son back to the God who heard her. That son goes on to become a prophet, hearing the voice of the Lord and radically shaping the future of Israel. God uses Hannah’s boldness to show us that he hears and sees us when we pray, no matter how inconsequential we might seem to others. He uses her genuine anguish and emotion in her prayer to show that he desires us to come to him with all our questions and anger and confusion. He uses Hannah’s prayer of praise to help us learn that God is indeed our deliverer and redeemer. And he shows us that He desires to speak to us in the same way he speaks to Samuel. He is a God who sees and hears his children while allowing us to hear him, too.
Is prayer an important part of your faith? What role does it play in your relationship with God?
Do you think having a child was the only thing Hannah wanted? What is at the heart of her prayers for a child?
Talk about when and how Hannah gave Samuel back to God. What would that be like? Have you ever experienced any similar situation- asking for something from God, and then offering that thing back to Him?
Hannah’s faith must have influenced Samuel as he grew up. What are some ways that Hannah and Samuel’s faith are similar? Different?
What is your take away from this story? Is God showing you anything new about himself or your own faith that you can hold onto this week?