by: Pastor Joey Vazquez
1 Samuel 1:18b (NLT) ...and she was no longer sad.
Hannah was a woman who was barren, and she was very despondent about it. Her husband loved her and tried to console her, but nothing would cheer her up because the one thing that she wanted in life more than anything was to be able to have children. Back in Hannah's day, barrenness was considered either a punishment or a curse and any woman that was barren felt shame for being in that condition.
One day, Hannah decided to do something about it. Her idea was to appeal to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to ask for a son, so she went to the Temple to pray. Her prayer was that if God would give her a son, she would give him back to the Lord. Eli, the high priest, was nearby and saw her lips moving with no sound coming out because she was praying silently. He was not living right before the Lord so instead of discerning that this was a woman in need, he thought she was drunk and told her so. Hannah assured him that she had not been drinking and told him that it was that she was discouraged and anguished in her heart. Eli corrected himself and then declared the following over her: "Go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.” Having received the blessing from God's representative, we read the verse above that says that she was no longer sad. That speaks volumes to us today.
Hannah had just finished praying and there was no physical indication that her prayer was answered or would be answered. But because she had prayed and because she took Eli's blessing as a sign that God had heard her cry, she immediately brightened up and stopped being sorrowful. She had so much faith about it that she began eating again and began being joyful in her heart. We find out as we continue to read the story that God did indeed hear her cry, and she conceived and gave birth to a baby boy who she named Samuel. We can learn an important lesson from Hannah about how we should pray and believe. The whole point of prayer is being heard by God and then hearing from Him. Just knowing that God has heard you should be enough to change your heart and change your perspective about things. Once you know that God has heard you, then you can expect for God to move and accomplish His will in your life. Even if the answer is different than what you wanted or expected, it is still cause for joy because God's will is perfect and His plan for you is to bless and prosper you as you love and serve him. But how do you know if He heard you? If you have prayed from your heart and have cried out to Him in sincerity, you can rest assured that He has. And if He has heard you, then there is cause for great joy!
Pastor Joey Vazquez