1 Samuel 2:1–10
My heart rejoices in the Lord;
in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
“There is no one holy like the Lord;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
“Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.
“The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.
“The Lord brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
He 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.
He 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;
those 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.
—1 Samuel 2:1–10
The passage above is Hannah’s prayer of praise. She wanted a son for so long, but “the Lord had closed her womb.” She asked the Lord to remember her, and to give her a son.
Hannah became depressed and worried, but she never stopped praying; God showed compassion and provided a child.
We don’t always know why painful things happen, but perhaps we need to ask God to provide what we need, or give us something better than what we’re asking for. That son that Hannah raised wasn’t just a regular man: he became the prophet Samuel, who took on big role as he spoke for God to the kings and people of Israel.
Our own church values say this about prayer:
There is power in prayer.
Paraphrasing Paul Tripp: If God intended our lives and ministries to be easy, they would be, but God cares enough to break our bones in order to capture our heart. We pray in good times and bad because Jesus commanded us to (Matthew 7:7– 8) and because we believe prayer changes things (James 4:2–3).
Questions for reflection and discussion: For what need in your life have you persevered through years of prayer? Did you God give you what you asked for, or something different? How did the experience itself change you?
This week's devotions were written by Saul Flores. Saul is the Puente del Pueblo High School Program Coordinator. Saul and his wife, Abby, did missionary work in Mexico for many years before moving to the Chicago area.