The God who answers prayer
Updated: Apr 20, 2020
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.”
- 1 Samuel 1:27 (NIV)
Have you ever had a deep desire for something? Or a prayer that you needed God to answer?
In the Bible, there's a woman named Hannah, and she longed for a child. Although she was loved by her husband and found favor in his sight, she wanted more in life. Her discontentment wasn't due to being ungrateful but having an unmet desire in her heart. So she turned to God, pleaded for Him to remember her, and made a vow to dedicate her son to the Lord. We must do the same when bringing a petition before God.
Bring your requests before God.
God is the only one capable of fulfilling prayer requests, He alone can change our circumstances. The Bible tells us that God closed up Hannah’s womb, to begin with (1 Samuel 1:5). I believe that sometimes God shuts certain doors and opportunities so that we can be reminded of where our help truly comes from. It's so easy to think that we’re in full control of our lives; and that we’re able to make things happen for ourselves. However, God allows us to hit specific walls, so that we can be reminded that we need His hand in every situation of our lives. After what Hannah went through, the fears, doubts, and frustrations. There was no doubt in her mind that God had made a miracle out of her obstacle. In the end, God was written all over her situation.
All power belongs to God.
With all of the new age beliefs out there, tarot card readings, fortune tellers, and manifesting. Many are deceived and believe that their desires are fulfilled by false gods or even themselves! But everything that we need is from God He is our source. Whenever He hears our prayers, He not only answers them but exceeds our expectations as well. Because Samuel (Hannah’s son) not only went on to serve the Lord but to be a prophet; and even have two books in the Bible named after him. There was no way that Hannah could’ve received her son without God!
Seek God as you pray.
Hannah wasn't selfish with her prayer; she didn't ask for a child simply to become a mother or check something off of her to-do list. Instead, she righteously desired a son and promised to dedicate him to the Lord. In short, she didn't want God to fulfill her desire solely for her amusement, but His glory! Every single gift that we receive from the Lord can and must be dedicated to Him. There is absolutely nothing that we can’t surrender to God. So Hannah promising to dedicate her son to the Lord was proof that her heart was pure; her motives were right, and she was allowing God to sit on the throne.
Timing is everything.
After praying intensely before the Lord, Hannah was told to go in peace because God heard her petition (1 Samuel 1:17). As you pray, have faith that God hears you; and after you pray, have hope that He will answer your request. Although Hanah prayed a pure, deep, and touching prayer; she still had to submit to God’s timing. Hannah had to surrender to His will and trust that He would come through for her.
Wait it out!
The very thing that you're believing God for could be well on its way, but you must be patient and wait. I know that the word “wait” offends some people, and even comes across as a curse word in our instant gratification world. Nevertheless, it is very important that you not only honor God by waiting; but that you honor Him by waiting well! Because whatever God has you waiting for is worth it.
When God remembered Hannah, she remembered Him.
Whenever God answers your prayer, don't catch amnesia and forget about what He did for you. Hannah did exactly what she said she would do, she dedicated her son to the Lord. Imagine if Hannah had received her answered prayer, forgot all about God, and abandoned her faith. That would’ve been inconsistent with her prayer, right? God was faithful to Hannah and in turn, she was faithful to Him! She made sure to honor Him and thank Him for answering her prayer. In chapter 2 of 1 Samuel, Hannah is busy praising, thanking, and glorifying the Lord for answering her prayer. And that’s exactly how it's supposed to be done. May your lips be full of praise whenever God answers your prayers!
Now let’s talk about Peninnah.
The story of Hannah wouldn't be as enticing without Peninnah (1 Samuel 1:6-8)! Although she was a bully and full-time harasser, she was essential to Hannah’s journey. Peninnah already had children and was “winning” in comparison to Hannah. And instead of keeping her mouth shut, she provoked Hannah countless times. However, I believe that Peninnah lit a fire under Hannah, which made her even more interested in conceiving a child. If Hannah didn't have a front-row seat to Peninnah’s fruitful womb, then maybe she would have learned how to live with an unfulfilled desire. But instead, the burden drove her to her knees in prayer. Maybe you have a Peninnah in your life, it may not be a real person, but something that intensifies an unfulfilled desire in your heart. No matter what it is, continue to fight in prayer for what's yours!
God works behind the scenes.
God allowed Hannah to experience unrest and discontentment so that she could stand in faith, and war in prayer. God will allow you to feel challenged by a situation and have your hands tied; so that He can come to your rescue and deliver you. Hannah’s husband couldn't understand why she desired a child so much, and sometimes others won't understand the desires that you carry in your heart. But they're not there for people to understand, they exist for God to move in your situation, and work on your behalf.
Last but not least, my favorite part!
In the time and culture that Hannah was in, names had a lot of significance. Parents didn't just randomly pick names from thin air, they chose names that carried deep meanings. Hannah named her long-awaited son Samuel, which means "God heard". Um HELLO SOMEBODY! Every time Hannah saw her son, she was reminded of God’s goodness. May God answer your prayers, and may you always be reminded of what He has done for you.