Jessica Christine Musgrove

Author. Singer. Actress.
My King is a dragon-slayer.

Women of God


Read I Samuel 1.

Did you know that Hannah’s name means ‘grace’? If you read through the first chapter of I Samuel, God’s abundant grace in Hannah’s life is clearly revealed. We can learn much from Hannah’s prayer to the Lord; her prayer is a hopeful prayer, an expectant prayer, and a prayer of strong faith in the One who is mighty and who can do all things. So, let’s look into her character.

Hannah’s Character

  • We learn Hannah is one of two wives to a man named Elkanah (vs. 1).
  • The other wife, Peninnah, has children, as in multiple children, while Hannah has no child of her own (vs. 2).
  • However, even though she has no children, Hannah is the favored wife. But it’s made very clear in verse 5 that the reason why Hannah has no children is because “the LORD [has] closed her womb.”
  • Hannah is made to feel ashamed and humiliated by Peninnah, who is described as Hannah’s “rival.” The mocking and provoking goes on for years. Can you imagine spending years of your life in constant humiliation and shame? Can you imagine the sorrow she must have felt?
  • Because of the shame, Hannah becomes depressed. Scripture says she “wept and would not eat” (vs. 7). Even the comforting words from her own husband brings her no encouragement.

So what can Hannah do? How can Hannah respond, other than to continue allowing the weight of depression and shame to crush her?

I Samuel 1:9 says, “Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh…”

The word “rose” holds so much value, don’t you think? Typically, after having a decent amount of food and drink, we tend to sit around a little while longer, let the food settle. If we’re depressed and sorrowful as Hannah was, we usually don’t want to move at all. But Hannah makes the conscious decision to rise from her seat, which was near the “door post of the temple of the LORD” (vs. 9), where Eli the priest sat. Hannah stands up before her God and begins to pray.

Read I Samuel 1:10-11.

What do we know about Hannah’s prayer?

  1. Hannah’s prayer is a prayer of great distress and bitter weeping.
  2. Hannah’s prayer is also a vow–a promise to her God–a prayer of faith. When we make a vow to God, we are surrendering our will to His will, even in our distress. In order for us to have genuine faith, the surrender of our will must occur.

Hannah’s Prayer

  • She begins by addressing God as the “LORD of hosts” (vs. 11). The Hebrew term for LORD of hosts is Jehovah Sabaoth. It’s full meaning, as given on, is “Jehovah, the God of the armies of Israel, the Giver of the victory in battle, of the stars and of the angels” .

Wow! Right away, even in Hannah’s distress, she begins by acknowledging God as the Almighty, as much, much bigger than herself, as a Fighter and Warrior. She knows the God she follows can do all things and can defeat the enemy.

  • She follows her greeting by an If/Then statement, which, when seen in scripture, indicates a contract or a promise is about to be made. She says, “If You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head (vs. 11).

What Can We Learn from Hannah’s Prayer/Vow?

  1. We learn that Hannah is unashamed to come to the LORD with her burdens. She comes to the LORD exactly how she is–greatly distressed. Rather than putting on a good face, she stands up and cries out to Him.
  2. Hannah is confident in her faith. She calls herself a “maidservant” three times. WE know she has a strong faith, because she surrenders her own child to God before he is even born, before she knows she will even become pregnant. But SHE also knows she has strong faith in God. Why? Because God is kind! The fact she is even able to rise from the table to pray in her distress speaks testimony to the Lord’s strength He is providing her because of her faith in Him.
  3. She expectantly prays for the LORD to remember her and not forget her. Her prayer, in this way, reflects some of David’s prayers (See Psalm 25, Psalm 106, & Psalm 132).
  4. She is not afraid to ask God for what her heart desires…a child… “[If You] will give Your maidservant a son…” Hannah knows it is the LORD who provides; He is in control of the situation. She knows His will is perfect, but she also knows she can come to Him with the desires of her heart.
  5. Hannah’s prayer begins with the acknowledgement of who God is (LORD of hosts), moves into a prayer that opens and lays bare her heart, and finishes with a prayer that is not only hopeful and expectant but full of surrender and obedience.

“I will give him [her son] to the LORD all the days of his life (I Samuel 1:11, emphasis added).

As we know from scripture, God hears and answers Hannah’s prayer. Hannah responds by keeping her promise. Her son, Samuel, is dedicated to the Lord, and he grows up a strong leader. In reading Twelve Extraordinary Women, by John MacArthur, we learn that Samuel “was the last of the judges. He was also a priest–the one who formally inaugurated the true royal line of Israel by anointing David as king” (MacArthur, pg. 87).

Indeed, we can learn much wisdom from Hannah’s prayer.

One Last Important Thought

Scripture states that after Hannah had prayed, she is able to go about the rest of her day without feeling sad (I Samuel 1:18). Make no mistake–The surrender of our will to His will, the very act of crying out to Him and giving Him our burdens, will lighten our load immensely. That’s not to say we will always be happy, but we always have the choice to be satisfied in Him. God is our Fighter, the LORD of hosts.

Nehemiah 4:20 says, “Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpets, rally to us there; our God will fight for us.”

When we run into the Lord’s presence, His triumphant presence, in complete surrender and obedience, He will fight for us. God is truly so good.

Up Next: Mary & Martha

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

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