Monday Reflection – July 29, 2019

The Answering God

The Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. 1 Samuel 1:27

From I was very young, and I imagine the same for most of you, I learnt and sung frequently the chorus, “Whisper a Prayer in the Morning”. I have always loved the second verse, “God answers prayer in the morning, God answers prayer at noon, God answers prayer in the evening, so keep your hearts in tune.” This simple chorus affirms the truth that God leaves no prayer unanswered. We may not like the answer, but God always answers.

Hannah, and by extension her son Samuel, is a testimony to answered prayer. Hannah had gone to the temple to lay her burden to the Lord – she desperately needed a son. She went to the temple, passed Eli at the temple doors and entered the sanctuary of the Lord with bitterness in her soul. She prayed to the Lord, wept in anguish, and poured out her soul before the Lord. Such was not in vain, for God granted her request. In celebration and fulfillment of her promise to the Lord, Hannah took young Samuel and dedicated him to the Lord. Hannah shares her testimony with Eli pointing out that the Lord has granted her petition.

Interestingly, while Eli was weak and his sons were wicked, Elkanah and Hannah prayed to the Lord. Deliverance had come to God’s people from the little village home, and not from the sacred Tabernacle. Isn’t this true of most situations in the Bible? The world’s Redeemer came from the manger at Bethlehem, not from palace, nor from the temple at Jerusalem. God has a mysterious way of doing his work, often confusing us and turning things upside down. After all, God’s standards are not ours, and his thoughts and ways are higher than ours.  

Hannah named her son Samuel and this was intended to be a lifelong reminder to him that he was the Lord’s. How critical it is for us to dedicate our children to God in their infancy! It is also an indication that we cannot begin to serve God too young. Let’s think of little Samuel knowing something about worship at three years old! We should carefully foster and nurture our children in the fear of the Lord. Indeed, the tender blade must precede the full corn in the ear. We should also be deliberate in praying for them. We hear the story of Samuel Budgett who, at nine years of age, was passing his mother’s door and heard his mother engaged in earnest prayer for her family and for himself by name. He thought, “My mother is more earnest about my soul than I am.” In that hour he decided to serve Christ, and the impressions thus made were never effaced.

I wish to also emphasize that we should let others know the benefits we have received from the Lord. Hannah spoke to Eli of her answered prayers. Not just that, but in the chapter that follows today’s text, Hannah breaks out into prayer and song declaring God’s holiness, knowledge, might and purpose. We readily speak well of a friend who does us a kindness, but how often do we testify of God’s goodness to us? We must never be afraid or shy to share of God’s faithfulness and care extended to us. Infact, we should use every opportunity to do so; we can never tell how such will encourage another in their journey and cause someone to surrender to the Lord. May God be honoured through our witness. Amen.

Jermaine Gibson

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