1 9 After eating and drinking, Hannah quietly got up and went to pray to the Lord.c Eli the priest was sitting on a chair near the door of the Lord’s Holy Building.d 10 Hannah was so sad that she cried the whole time she was praying to the Lord. 11 She made a special promise to God and said, “Lord All-Powerful, you can see how sad I am. Remember me. Don’t forget me. If you will give me a son, I will give him to you. He will be yours his whole life, and as a Nazirite,e he will not drink wine or strong drink,f and no one will ever cut his hair.”
12 Hannah prayed to the Lord a long time. Eli was watching her mouth while she was praying. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart. Her lips were moving, but since she did not say the words out loud, Eli thought she was drunk. 14 He said to her, “You have had too much to drink. It is time to put away the wine.”
15 Hannah answered, “Sir, I have not drunk any wine or beer. I am deeply troubled, and I was telling the Lord about all my problems. 16 Don’t think I am a bad woman. I have been praying so long because I have so many troubles and am very sad.”
17 Eli answered, “Go in peace. May the God of Israel give you what you asked for.”
18 Hannah said, “May you be happy with me.” Then she left and ate something. She was not sad anymore.
19 Early the next morning Elkanah’s family got up. They worshiped theLord and then went back home to Ramah.
Elkanah had sexual relations with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered Hannah. 20 By that time the following year, Hannah had become pregnant and had a son. She named him Samuel.g She said, “His name is Samuel because I asked the Lord for him.”
“God doesn’t only have one phone line.” Avery, 10
“If you have faith and are born again, then you should know God is listening.” Joel, 10
“One time I prayed for my brother to get well, and the next day he was healed.” Paul, 9
“In our classroom, we have a prayer request list. When prayers are answered, we move them down to the praise list.” John, 11
In his New Testament letter, the Apostle James wrote: “You don’t get what you want because you don’t ask God” (James 4:2). However, James could have said, your prayers are answered because you have the faith to ask. James also wrote, “when you ask, you don’t receive anything, because the reason you ask is wrong. You only want to use it for your own pleasure” (James 4:3).
Selfish prayers do not go any higher than the ceiling. “God is against the proud, but he is kind to the humble,” James wrote in his letter. People who think they are strong do not like to ask anyone for anything. Compared to God, we are all weak. We need his help, his wisdom, his power and his grace. Only those with a humble spirit will ask God for whatever they need.
Hannah is a wonderful example of a person who was humble and not selfish at all in what she asked of God. She prayed that God would give her a son. God heard her prayer and the promise she made to dedicate her son to the Lord’s service. God gave her a son, and she named him Samuel.
When he became old enough to eat, his mother took him to live with the priest Eli, who served the Lord in God’s holy tent. To give up her little boy and have him live with someone else was a very hard thing for her to do—but she promised God she would. Hannah humbly asked, and she received. We should all follow Hannah’s example and pray humbly to God.
Think About This: God wants to answer your prayers.
Memorize This Truth: “You don’t get what you want because you don’t ask God” (James 4:2).