Perhaps you’ve read Hannah’s story or maybe you haven’t met Hannah yet. You can meet her in 1 Samuel chapters 1 and 2. Hannah is a discouraged woman who has longed for a child for years and years. She is not your typical Biblical role model of everything going right in her life and living in blessings.
But as you read these two short chapters, you will find some important life lessons from Hannah in the Bible.
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Who Was Hannah in the Bible?
Hannah and Peninnah were the two wives of Elkanah. In a culture where a woman’s value and favor came from bearing children and sons especially, Hannah had lost out on any value due to her barrenness. She longed for a child but didn’t have any.
The Bible says that Peninnah had children but Hannah had none. The Hebrew meaning of the name Hannah is “grace” or “favor” but in this story, it seems to hold empty meaning for Hannah.
As the story unfolds you will find Hannah being made fun of and provoked by Peninnah.
Hannah’s husband apparently loved Hannah and did what he could to compensate for her lack of children. “But to Hannah, he gave a double portion because he loved her.” (1 Samuel 1:5 NIV)
The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly how many years Hannah continued praying for a son but after years and years of desire, praying, and longing, this is what leads Hannah to be weeping at the temple. She implores God to give her a son and promises to give him back to God.
The priest, Eli, accuses her of being drunk and tells her to go home. But as Hannah wipes her eyes she unloads to Eli that is neither drunk nor crazy. But she is in deep anguish and pouring out her heart to God. Eli has compassion for Hannah and offers a blessing and prays that her request will be answered.
The next morning, Hannah worshipped God with her family and then went back to their home. As a result of God’s promise, Hannah’s womb had been opened and she gave birth to a son named Samuel.
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3 Life Lessons From Hannah in the Bible
This could be the end of Hannah’s story. After all, there aren’t very many lengthy passages about women in the Bible. But there is so much more to her story even though it only lasts another chapter. Indirectly, Hannah impacted the future of Israel because she had kept her promise and given her promised child back to God.
When Samuel was just a little boy, Hannah returned to the temple gave her son to Priest Eli to train, teach, mentor, and guide in the service of God. As Samuel grew he heard God’s voice, learned how to work in the temple, witnessed God’s protection and promises to the Children of Israel.
Years later, Samuel became the priest and prophet of the nation and God used Samuel’s willingness and faithfulness to guide and lead his children.
When Hannah found out that she was having a baby she could have forgotten her promise to God. She could have held onto her child and justified that she was giving him to God in her own home.
But Hannah kept her promise to give her son back to God. As a result of her faithful promise, Samuel became a leader in Israel and influenced the leaders for generations. He listened to God speak to him and spoke for God in return.
Here are three lessons from Hannah in the Bible.
Hannah Prayed Through Her Trials
Through these few short verses in 1 Samuel, we discover that through her trials and years of disappointments, Hannah is praying.
When Peninnah was a bully and Hannah couldn’t take any more, she went to pray. Over the years her dreams of becoming a mother were shattered, but she continued to pray for a miracle.
You may be feeling like Hannah today. Perhaps you are facing loss, you may be crying and trying to understand why things aren’t changing. These lessons from Hannah in the Bible can apply to your situation too.
Hannah was Committed
Hannah was committed to her longing for a baby. Even after years of disappointment, she didn’t give up praying. Year after year of no answers and no baby, but she continued to pray.
Rather than give up on her dream of bearing a son for Elkanah, she committed to continue in prayer. She continued to pour out her dreams to God.
After Samuel was born, Hannah continued to pray. Often when you have prayed through difficulty and then see the answer to your prayers, it can be easy to forget to be thankful for your blessing. Hannah’s beautiful prayer of thanksgiving is recorded as she continues to be committed to praying to God in the good and bad.
Hannah was Faithful to Her Promise
Promises are easy to make. You can promise almost anything when you really want something in return. Hannah made a huge promise to God. She promised that if God would give her a son, she would give him back.
It’s hard to imagine waiting this long for a child and then being willing to give him back, but Hannah had promised God and she was faithful to uphold her promise.
She faithfully took care of Samuel even after she took him to the temple as she sewed clothes for him every year. Her mother’s heart was faithful in love for her son, but also faithful to God. Because of her faithfulness, she had additional children after Samuel.
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Pray Like Hannah!
No matter how difficult or dismal your circumstances may be, no matter how hopeless your situation might seem, you can pray like Hannah! Take your tears and struggles to God and ask Him to wipe away your tears and heal your brokenness.
Commit to praying persistently and faithfully as you give your burdens to God. Just like Hannah, the results of your prayers may not be seen for years, but you can trust that God is faithful and He loves you more than anything!
When you ponder these life lessons of Hannah from the Bible, spend some time reflecting on your life.
What life lessons are you leaving as a heritage to your children? When they are grown will they look back and remember their mother praying through her tears and disappointments? Will they see that her promises are faithfully upheld even when difficult? What impact could your life be on those around you, just like Hannah?
I challenge you to give your worries, fears, disappointments, tears, and sorrow to God. Ask Him to fill your heart with faithfulness and a song to sing to bless others. Commit to continuing to pray even if it takes years to see God’s answers. Take these life lessons from Hannah in the Bible. Be like Hannah today and let God fill your life with grace and favor!
You may also like these posts…
- Praying Moms – Using Scripture to Pray for Others
- Remain in Me – Lessons from John 15
- 3 Lessons of Courage from the Life of Joshua
- Creating a Self-Care Life
- Praying Circles Around the Lives of Your Children
- 31 Bible Promises to Pray for Your Children
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