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4 December 2017

 

Monday 4th December - 1 Samuel 1: 1 - 20

Hannah: Prayer as part of God’s larger plan

 

Hannah was a woman at the end of her tether. As a childless wife, she saw herself as a failure in her role in life. She was the butt of her rival’s scorn and contempt, and her husband’s attempts to comfort her didn’t touch the depths of her despair.  She felt deeply lonely and misunderstood; and to make matters worse, when she went to the temple to pour out her heart to God, she found herself on the receiving end of contempt and misunderstanding from the priest as well.

What do we do when we feel life is against us? Do we lash out at others in anger and pain; do we try to lose ourselves in addictions or retreat from reality; do we turn in on ourselves in self-loathing and depression?

Hannah continued in prayer before the Lord. In spite of her sense of isolation from her family, and the worse than inept pastoral response of the priest, she persisted in calling on God. And somewhere in her prayer she realised that what she wanted could also serve the Lord’s purposes. And just as she made a promise to God, so God made a promise to her through Eli’s blessing.

God was with her, recognising her desire was not just a selfish need but a readiness to trust God and be part of his will in her life. The birth of her son Samuel was another step in God’s plan and the story of his people.

May we find God is there with us when we reach the end of ourselves, and be ready to give up our dearest desires in order to serve his plan.

 

 

For further reflection, please read “In Touch with God: Advent meditations on biblical prayers” by Michael & Rosemary Green, pages 13 - 17