Have you ever had a need or wanted something so badly that you could hardly stand it? Have you ever had a desire so great that you couldn’t eat or sleep because of that need? I want to write about the story of Hannah from the Bible. Hannah had a great need. She had a desire so great it caused her to not even want to eat. Let’s start at the beginning of her story.
HANNAH’S NEED OR PROBLEM
Hannah was married to Elkanah, a man from the tribe of Ephraim. Elkanah had two wives. This spells trouble already. Hannah had a great burden. She had no children. Elkanah loved Hannah. Elkanah’s other wife, Peninnah, would taunt Hannah and tease her because she was barren. Peninnah had several children with Elkanah. I can’t imagine this scenario. Hannah knew she couldn’t have children, but to be reminded in such a vicious, mean way by Peninnah just made the burden that much heavier. Hannah was so distraught over this that she would not eat and cried constantly.
WHAT HANNAH DID
When they went to the sacrifice she prayed and cried out to the Lord and wept bitterly. Hannah’s prayer went something like this……”If you will look upon me your servant, and remember me and not forget me, and give me a son, I will give him to you all the days of his life and no razor shall touch his head.”
She prayed with such conviction that Eli thought she was drunk and told her to put away her wine. Hannah told him that she wasn’t drunk but was praying to the Lord with all her heart and soul about her anxiety and great need. Eli understood her and told her to go that the Lord will grant her prayer.
This made Hannah feel much better. She was no longer sad. The Lord did show favor upon her and gave her a son named Samuel. Hannah kept her agreement to the Lord and gave Samuel to God.
Hannah prayed to the Lord a prayer of thanksgiving……I Samuel 2:1 – “And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
We can also learn much from Hannah’s story. Not only did Hannah have a need that was so great it made her not eat and cry uncontrollably, she also had great faith in God. She was troubled and heartbroken because she was barren, but also because Peninnah tormented her day and night. Hannah poured her heart out to the Lord and He heard her. No matter what problems we face, or what burdens we carry, we have a God who loves us and is only concerned for our welfare. He wants to help us, but we have to cry out to Him and let Him know. Psalm 147:3 – “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” I think Hannah was pretty brokenhearted. The Lord heard her cries and bound up her wounds. That’s exactly what He wants to do for us! All we need is the faith to trust God that He will help us in our time of need. It’s so easy to trust God when things are going well, but what about the times when our lives are crazy and seem out of control with one problem after another? This is exactly when we need to pray. Pray without ceasing. Pray when you don’t even have the words to say. Romans 8:26 says –
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings …”
Do you think there were times when Hannah couldn’t even pray to the Lord? I think she was there. The Lord heard her groanings. The Holy Spirit interceded for her when she couldn’t pray. This is so beautiful!! Even when we are carrying something so heavy and can’t even utter a word, The Holy Spirit prays for us! God knows our hearts. He knows the very deepest part of them. So just give your needs and your heartaches over to Him and let him carry them for you.
I want to have a faith like Hannah’s. A faith that doesn’t give up when trials come and invade our lives. No matter what happens or what anyone does to us, let’s be a Hannah, and have great faith!!
“Dear Lord, I want to have a faith so strong that nothing can keep me from you. Let me be a Hannah, and have great faith. When I have burdens and sorrows, help me to always know that you are waiting for me to come to you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”