Hannah’s Prayer to God: Fully Opening Up to the Lord

Shared on July 7, 2024

Did you know that one of the most uplifting prayers we find in scripture came from a woman? Join Pastor McCrary in this week’s Sunday School as he takes a look at the praise of Hannah. We will see the beauty of what happens when one fully opens themselves up to the Lord.


In our lesson this week, we will continue to take a look at women of faith.  So far this quarter, we have seen that women aren’t excluded from being used by the Lord.  In fact, we have seen that women can also be blessed and find favor in the eyes of God.  Our lesson this week will continue to look at women in faith.  This week, we are going to take a look at Hannah.

Who was Hannah?

So, let’s start this lesson off by learning about who Hannah was.  Hannah was one of the two wives of Elkanah (1 Sam. 1:1).  It was believed that that the Lord “closed her womb” – that she was barren (1 Sam. 1:5).  Though she was thought to have been barren, Elkanah loved her more than his other wife, Peninnah.  Peninnah, because she had children, would do her best to make Hannah miserable over being unable to have children.

Peninnah’s actions, would cause Hannah to weep in bitterness.  From a place of bitter sorrow, Hannah would pray to God with the desire to have a son (1 Sam. 1:10).  There came a time when she prayed to the Lord and made a vow to Him.  She vowed to God that if He would bless her with a son, shes would give her son back to him all the days of his life (1 Sam. 1:11).  

So, in other words, Hannah would dedicate her child back to the Lord.  Dedicating a child to the Lord is something that some parents still do to this day.  Me and my siblings were dedicated back to the Lord.  I have helped cousins dedicate their children to the Lord as well.  It is always a beautiful occasion of parents’ thanksgiving for God’s wonderful blessing of a child.

Hannah Keeps Her Vow

Our lesson opens with Hannah keeping the vow she made to God – God had blessed her with a son.  Hannah named her son Samuel with her reasoning being that she asked for him from the Lord (1 Sam. 1:20).  Samuel would go on to serve as a prophet, priest, and the last of the judges of Israel as he served the Lord all of his life (1 Sam. 2:18-21; 3:19-20; 7:15-17).

Hannah rejoiced and said to the Lord, “I am the woman who stood by you here, praying (1 Sam. 1:26). I also have lent (given) him … as long as he lives he shall be lent (given) to the Lord (1 Sam. 1:27).” This was Hannah dedicating – giving her son back to the Lord in faithfulness and thanksgiving.

Hannah’s Prayer to God

As we move over to the next chapter, we will see that Hannah further prayed to God.  Hannah said that her heart rejoiced in the Lord as her horn was exalted in God (1 Sam. 2:1).  In those days, a horn was used to sound the alarm and also call an army into battle. So, in this sense, Hannah was saying that God was her strength – her army to fight her battles.

Hannah said that she smiled at her enemies who at one point in time mocked her to her face (1 Sam. 2:1). When I read this verse, I can hear the smile and joy in Hannah’s words.  She proudly rejoice because God was her salvation – her deliverer!  God had proven her enemies wrong in this wonderful blessing of joy!

Do you think Hannah was in the wrong for saying these things in her prayer?  I don’t!  Hannah had gone through some things in her life and God had blessed her with the “impossible”.  When you have gone through some things in your life, you should pray such a prayer as well!  I know that I gave God such praise when He did what seemed impossible to me when I received my transplant.

There is Nobody like God

After thanking the Lord for His wonderful blessing, Hannah continued to praise Him.  She said to God that no one is holy like Him (1 Sam. 2:2)!  She said that there was none besides Him, nor a rock like Him.  This is something that we would say of Christ in our prayers today!  This shows us the kind of intimate fellowship that Hannah had with God to say these things.

Hannah then had a word for the proud, people like Peninnah.  It is likely that people had told her she could never have children which is why Peninnah would throw it in her face.  Hannah said, “Let no arrogance come from your mouth, for the Lord is the God of knowledge (1 Sam. 2:3).”  Hannah had to learn how to ignore the words of fools and trust in God’s word – this is a valuable lesson that we must all learn.

To the mighty, Hannah prayed that their bows (weapons) are broken while those who are strong stumble (1 Sam. 2:4).  This is directed to those who put their trust in their own strength and power rather than God.  Again, Hannah learned the valuable lesson of putting her trust in the strength and power of the Lord.  

Through her own experience, Hannah saw that by God’s power the hungry were fed and the barren conceived children.  Through scripture, consider how often we see women like Hannah and Sarah, believed to be barren, but conceive a child.  To this day, the Lord still does what many think is impossible on a regular basis.  Patient observation through faith will recognize God’s power is able to make anything possible.

God is all powerful

Hannah then prayed and acknowledged that the Lord “kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up (1 Sam. 2:6).”  This acknolwedgment would have to leave you wondering, how do you know this Hannah?  We know because we have studied and seen the eyewitness report of the resurrection of God’s only begotten.  

How could Hannah know these things about the Lord?  I believe Hannah had fully opened her heart to God and we’re starting to see the Spirit’s influence.  Paul wrote that the words he shared did not come by way of man’s wisdom but by wisdom taught by the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:13).  He also wrote that the “natural man” can’t receive God’s truth, however, those who are spiritual are able to judge all things (1 Cor. 2:14).

Hannah was praying and sharing a word that no natural man would be able to share – she was under the influence of God.  Under this influence, she shared a word that even sounds similar to the Beatitudes.  Hannah said, “the Lord make poor and make rich (1 Sam. 2:7).  He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap, to set them among princes (1 Sam. 2:8).”

I hear those words and I hear Jesus saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3).  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled (Matt. 5:6).  Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy (Matt. 5:7).  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:10).”

Again, to have such insight that Hannah was praying with shows an intimate connection with God!  She completed her prayer by talking about the Lord guarding the feet of His saints while the wicked will be silent in darkness (1 Sam. 2:9).  David, one who also had a strong connection with the Spirit, also spoke about how God would not let the feet of His be moved (to stumble) (Ps. 121:3).

When I hear such statements made in both praise and in prayer, I can’t help but see the Spirit’s influence.  Jesus proclaimed that He is the light of the Lord.  As the light of the world, Jesus said, those who follow Him shall not walk in darkness (John 8:12).  Jesus even called on people to walk while they have the light lest they are overtaken and stumble in the dark (John 12:35).

God is all powerful.  Hannah concluded that the adversaries of the Lord will be broken in pieces as He judges the earth.  Hannah even adds that the Lord will give strength to His king and exalt the horn of His anointed.  These are words that are pointed directly at Christ – a prophecy about Christ!  No “natural man” could make such a statement – only one led by the Spirit!

Hannah’s Uniqueness

I believe that all of us as God’s children have very unique qualities that make us all very unique.  Hannah has a very unique place in scripture as some consider her to be a prophetess.  I would certainly agree as she was definitely sharing a powerful word that many need to heed today.  

If you ever wonder whether or not the Lord will use women to teach and share his word, you can stop wondering.  As we have seen this quarter, God can and will use anybody, including women.  I remember several years ago where it was seemingly a big deal that women were preaching or being pastors.  To this day I have never understood the big deal.  My thought is that if men aren’t going to do it, the Lord will use women, boys, and girls to let His message known.

Hannah was a woman of faith.  She made a vow to God, didn’t take it lightly, and kept it!  For that she had a son who would go on to be a great leader for Israel.  Not only that, we see she was filled with the Spirit and able to share a mighty word!

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