How do we react when God answers our prayers?
First Samuel 1-2 introduces us to Hannah. Hannah was the wife of Elkanah. She was unable to have children. Each year she and her husband would go to Shiloh, where the Tabernacle was located, to worship the Lord. Hannah is earnestly praying for a child. She prayed that if God would give her a man child, she would give him to the Lord all the days of his life.
“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.” (1 Samuel 1:11)
Numbers 6:2-8 speaks of the Nazarite vow. This is the vow Hannah is referring to.
“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord:3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the Lord he shall come at no dead body.7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.8 All the days of his separation he is holy unto the Lord.”
Elkanah and Hannah return home. Then, 1 Samuel 1:19-20 says,
“And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her.20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord.”
God answered Hannah’s prayer. Hannah weans the baby and presents him to Eli, the High Priest.
“And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord.27 For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:28 Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there.” (1 Samuel 1:26-28)
Chapter 2 records Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord. The prayer consists of verses 1-10. Verses 1-3 say,
“And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. 2 There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.”
Her reaction to God’s answered prayer was rejoicing, exaltation, praise, worship, and an acknowledgement of God’s power and knowledge.
When God answers our prayers, whether they be big or small, do we acknowledge them like Hannah did? We should.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001