My fellow blogger, Stephanie over at Read Cook Devour, has a new bible study out called Undivided: A Study in 1 Samuel. We can learn a lot by reading and studying 1 Samuel,– prayer is just one of those things we can learn about. Be sure to read all the way through the post to learn more Stephanie’s study!
So, friend, earlier in the week my Mom and I were discussing a situation that needs some prayer.
Now, if you know anything at all about prayer and how God works, sometime’s He’ll answer your prayer in a way that you don’t necessarily expect Him to.
Mom mentioned that when we pray for this situation, we need to be very specific in how we phrase our request when taking it to the throne of God.
Honestly, I had to giggle a little bit. Her words basically reinforced exactly what I’ve been learning about in my study of 1 Samuel.
A Study of 1 Samuel
1 Samuel starts out by telling us about Samuel’s mother, Hannah. Pretty familiar lady that I’m sure you’ve probably heard about.
Hannah, who was married to Elkanah, desperately wanted a child, but for reasons unknown to us, couldn’t have children. Peninnah, Hannah’s sister wife (if that’s what you want to call her?), was blessed with several children and never missed an opportunity to rub it in Hannah’s face.
Now the Bible tells us that Elkanah told Hannah his love for her was greater than the love she could’ve received from ten sons. A statement like that tells us he really loved Hannah. But, even with a devoted husband, Hannah still felt empty because of her lack of a child. I’m sure it didn’t help a bit with Peninnah bragging and tormenting Hannah, too.
But, Hannah knew that God could help her. And so, she did what we all should do, she took her plight to God in prayer.
The Bible says in 1 Samuel 1:10-11, “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.”
Read that again, friend,
Did you catch it?
Sure, it’s clear Hannah was asking for a child. But, she specifically asked the Lord for a son. Which, she then offered back to the Lord for service of the Kingdom. But, that’s another post on keeping your promises to God.
See, Hannah knew God could answer her prayers. I won’t go into why it was desired to have a firstborn son back in the Bible days. If you study the Old Testament at all, you know that boys were a little more valued than daughters were. Hannah knew this and knew that if she just prayed, “Lord, give me a child”, God could grant her prayer and give her a son OR a daughter.
I’m sure Hannah would have loved a daughter just as much as she would have a son. But, a son likely would have eased the torment she was receiving from Peninnah, too. Not to mention, the host of other reasons why sons were desirable.
So, Hannah got real specific when she was in prayer. And, because she was specific and determined, God answered her prayer.
Be like Hannah. Be specific in prayer.
There’s a lesson to be learned here, friend.
We must be careful how we prayer about situations in our life. Yes, God works everything to the good of those that trust in Him. We know that. And this is evidenced by reading the rest of Hannah’s story and learning she went on to have more children, too.
Be like Hannah. Be specific. Click To Tweet
But, if we’re not careful, we might get the answer to our prayer, but not the answer we expect.
When you go to the Lord in prayer, consider what it is you’re requesting God to do for you. Be like Hannah. Be specific.
Tell me, friend, has there been a situation you’ve prayed about that was answered, but not in the way you expected? Tell me in the comments below!
P.S. Here’s more info on Stephanie’s study, Undivided: A Study in 1 Samuel.
Stephanie’s study offers commentary of 1 Samuel, life application, and prayer prompts that take you deeper in the Word. Undivided takes you through the entire book of 1 Samuel and opens your eyes to different challenges the children of Israel faces. Stephanie makes it clear we can learn from these challenges and apply those same lessons to our own lives. Her commentary has opened my eyes to situations I never considered before when reading 1 Samuel. If you’re looking for a new Old Testament study, highly recommend you check it out! Head over to Amazon and take a look! (No affiliate links, promise!)