READ : 1 Samuel 1
But Hannah answered, “No, my lord . . . I have been pouring out my soul before the
Lord.” (v. 15 NRSV)
Things must be pretty bad when a priest mistakes a woman intensely praying to the Lord
for a drunk. Had Eli never seen intense devotion before? But this is the time of the
judges, when spirituality was at an all-time low and “all the people did what was right in
their own eyes” (Judg. 21:25). Not Hannah. She has come before God in her pain and is
praying with fervor.
God answered Hannah’s prayer and she became pregnant with Samuel. She had vowed that
her firstborn son would be fully dedicated to the service of the Lord, so she brought him
to Eli at Shiloh. Israel was badly in need of revival and rededication to the Lord their
God. Renewal and revival did come to God’s people, and it all began with the troubled soul
of a praying woman.
It must have been difficult for Hannah to leave her little boy at the tabernacle with
Eli. But she had done her job well. Samuel did call Israel back to the Lord and, as his
final official act, anointed David as king over Israel. And David initiated Israel’s
golden age of obedience to God and the establishment of a large kingdom.
Lord, answer the prayers of praying mothers and fathers so that their children
may become stalwart sons and daughters of the King of kings. Amen.