1 Samuel 1:1-28
As we have seen from the previous study there are so many ways to pray but Hannah focused on being honest. She poured out her heart; agreeing with God; seeking God first. She was a childless lady who was loved by her husband but she could not accept the life she had with no value, as she saw it, with the social stigma of barrenness. She was a desperate woman who knew where to go for help. She went off to the Temple begging God that if He gave her a son she would give him back to the Lord all the days of his life. She was pouring out her heart to the Lord with tears but Eli misinterpreted this as being drunk and accused her of such. She responded very graciously explaining to him where she was coming from. Maybe if Eli had spent more time in prayer himself he would have identified a problem and approached her with a less judgemental attitude and so been able to join his faith with hers and so encouraged Hannah. Her self worth was in being able to produce a son. We need to look at this from our present day culture. What is dictating our self worth and value from the world around us? After keeping her promise to God she had three other sons and two daughters as a real blessing.
What do we pray for ourselves? Are our prayers always for our own storms in life? Here are some ideas for prayer.
For Everything – Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Colossians 4:2
For Missionaries – 2 Corinthians 1:11; Colossians 4:2-4
For Royalty – Ezra 6:10; 1 Timothy 2:2
For Peace of Jerusalem – Psalm 122:6
For Healing of our Land – 2 Chronicles 7:14; 1 Timothy 2:1-4
For Prosperity of the City – Jeremiah 29:7
For Unsaved – John 17:20
For our Enemies – Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28
For Knowledge of the Love of God – Ephesians 3:17-19
For Life Worthy of God – Colossians 1:10
For Nearness to God – Deuteronomy 4:7
For Healing – James 5:15
For Forgiveness – Hosea 14:2; Mark 11:25
For Power – Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 3:16
For Strength in Trouble – Matthew 26:38-42; John 12:27; Psalm 91:15
For Strength against Temptation – Matthew 26:41; Luke 22:40
For Revival – Habakkuk 3:2
How to pray for other Christians:
- Be thankful for their faith and changed lives. – Colossians 1:3-5.
- Ask God to help them know what He wants them to do – Colossians 1:9.
- Ask God to give them spiritual understanding. – Colossians 1:9.
- Ask God to help them live for Him. – Colossians 1:10.
- Ask God to give them more knowledge of Him. – Colossians 1:10.
- Ask God to give them strength for endurance. – Colossians 1:11.
- Ask God to fill them with joy, strength, and thankfulness. – Colossians 1:11
Prayer—be specific, and be relentless in praying for miracles in every part of your life. Bring the promises of God before Him in your pursuit. He hasn’t forgotten what He has said and does not need our reminder. However, He enjoys seeing us standing on His covenant when we pray. Prayer with fasting is to be an integral part of this quest, as He revealed this to be an important way to get a breakthrough.
Samuel was dedicated by his mother and prepared by God to lead His people back to Himself. He was Israel’s greatest prophet (1 Samuel 3:20) and finished off the work of the judges (1 Samuel 7:15) before anointing the first king Saul (1 Samuel 10:1) and then David (1 Samuel 16:13). He was a great prayer warrior as he had obviously inherited this from his wonderful mother so he knew the voice of God when he needed to hear from Heaven for guidance.
If we are blessed with the joy of children we need to always remember the importance of giving them back to God. This should start when in the womb, praying the Word over them daily. This can be followed up with their dedication in Church just like baby Jesus, then there is the daily prayer and Godly wisdom realising He is the best at child rearing whatever kind of childhood we had ourselves. Always be very serious about making any vow to God, we are accountable to Him alone for this.
‘This went on year after year’ 1 Samuel 1:7
‘Her rival provoked her – bitterness of soul – she wept much – she would not eat – deeply troubled – great anguish and grief ……. ‘1 Samuel 1:7-16. Does this describe the emotions you are going through at this time caused by a storm in your life that you have no power to change. How do we react in storms some of which come up suddenly, others are gradual and long lasting?
It is a great idea to learn how to cope with problems when things are not too serious, like learning to trust God for healing for a cold rather than waiting till we get the terminal diagnosis. Hannah would have seen her private problem go on month by month and year by year and watching Peninnah’s stomach growing regularly as a reminder of her own failure.
Hannah found it difficult to receive the love from her husband and the fact that he did not seem to understand her problem of childlessness, I Samuel 1:8. His concern was not enough and not satisfactory for her emotional and physical needs. Often the deeper the hurt the more isolated we feel and withdraw from all who would try to give answers and encourage us. It can be a very lonely road.
After enduring this problem with no positive outcome for several years she recognised she needed to run to the Lord and pour out her heart to Him, the only One who can satisfy her needs. This is the greatest lesson we can learn from Hannah so whatever our problem we run straight to our Heavenly Father and pour out the truth of how we are feeling from our heart.
One problem we often have is we blame God and have already prayed but only seen the problem get worse! We so easily give up and start speaking words of doubt and unbelief so creating desperation and fear around us. Our thoughts run out of control and the enemy feeds more negative feelings and so bitterness takes route, Hebrews 12:15.
All our trials can be about Jesus, and growing closer to Him where He is the centre of us and we are dead to ourselves. The alternative is to choose to turn away and end up hating Him who loves us so passionately and wants to bless us. There are times He withholds things from us or delays His answer to encourage us to choose Him more than anything we think we need or want! He runs the risk that we may turn away from Him when His plan is to draw us deeper into Him, and have a more intimate relationship with Him than we have ever experienced before.
It is abnormal for a Christian not to have an appetite for the impossible. It has been written into our spiritual DNA to hunger for the impossibilities around us to bow at the name of Jesus. As Bill Johnson says ‘The lack of miracles isn’t because it is not in God’s will for us. The problem exists between our ears. As a result, a transformation, a renewing of the mind, is needed, and it’s only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit that typically comes upon desperate people. Jesus said, “As the Father sent Me, I send you” (John 20:21). It’s not complicated; it’s just expensive. It costs us everything. It is now up to us to follow His example without excuses, rejecting all distractions. This is our destiny.’
Dealing with a storm
Forgiveness – she recognised she had to keep her heart right for God to respond – Matthew 6:14-15
Focus on Him, seeking His face for His will – Matthew 7:7; Ephesians 1:17
God’s Word has to be prayed – Isaiah 55:8-11
Keep an eternal perspective; see the bigger picture – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Take every thought captive, we are responsible for this, our choice! – Isaiah 55:8-11; Proverbs 13:12
Jesus learnt obedience through suffering – Psalm 34:17-18; Matthew 16:24; Hebrews 5:8
Difficulties develop maturity – James 1:2-4
Trust Him – Proverbs 3:5; Isaiah 30:15; Romans 10-13.
Put faith into action with praise – Habakkuk 3:17-19
Become a friend of God. God shares His secrets with His friends – John 15:15
God is a good God – still recognise this is true despite disappointment and disillusionment – Psalm 34:6
‘Happy moments, PRAISE GOD; Difficult moments, SEEK GOD; Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD; Painful moments, TRUST GOD; Every moment, THANK GOD’. Rick Warren from Purpose Driven Life
No.23 Hannah – The overcoming prayer warrior. Challenges Questions
Read all the notes about Hannah
- Choose two areas from the things to pray for list, that you do not do very often and look up the verses and write them here. Could this help your prayer time?
- What problem have you prayed for over a long period of time and feel you have not as yet seen a breakthrough? What is God’s Word on the situation and are you are praying and believing this for the outcome?
- What do you think about what Bill Johnson is quoted as saying here? How much do you think it costs to follow Jesus?
- What points from ‘Dealing with a storm’ really helped you and how can you live them in your situation?
Read John 4:1-26
5. What was strange about Jesus going through Samaria? Why do you think she was at the well at noon? (John 4:4)
6. What is amazing about Jesus’ question to this woman? (John 4:7-9)
7. Do you feel prejudiced in any situation? Have you been at the receiving end of any prejudice? How do you think Jesus would react in your situation?
8. How does Jesus relate her need of a Messiah (Saviour) to her everyday work? Do you see Jesus in your everyday work? How?
9. What is ‘living water’ and how does Jesus describe it’s effect(John 4:10-14)
10. Why do you think Jesus asked her to call her husband? (John 4:16)
11. When Jesus showed that He knew about her situation how did she try to avoid the subject?
12. Is there an area of your life that the Holy Spirit is putting His finger on and you have been avoiding His pressure? The answer for peace of mind is to face up to it now and put it right.
13. Describe in your own words Jesus’ reply when the woman talks about worship. (John 4:19-24)
14. Do you know this kind of worship in private? Is there any advice you could give to help someone just getting started in praise and worship?
Read John 4:27-42
15. What was the woman’s first reaction when she realised who she was talking to? (John 4:28) How did you react when you met Jesus for the first time?
16. How does Jesus describe His whole motive for living in this passage? (John 4:31-38)
17. When Jesus is talking about the harvest, what is He talking about? What is your part?
18. What happened when the woman shared her testimony? (John 4:39)
19. What happened to the people when they met Jesus for themselves? (John 4:41-42)
20. Write a short sentence summing up what happened to the Samaritan woman in the whole passage.
21. Choose one verse to memorise from this passage, and write it down.