“And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept…In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. And she made a vow, saying, ‘Oh LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon…and remember me…then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life” 1 Sam 1:6-11.
Hannah was a believer in God and trusted in His sovereignty, power and abilities. Scripture tells us that year after year she was unable to conceive, bringing her much despair. It is written that she met most days in brokenness and extreme sadness, unable to eat. I am sure her husband was broken hearted for her as he watched her suffer. Although he attempted to console her, she was experiencing this alone. It was between Hannah and God, seeker and Giver. We are even told that there was provocation at the temple, God’s dwelling place, for her provoker even taunted her in that sacred place.
In considering this today, I was reminded of how easy it is for Satan to attack us as we are trying to approach God’s dwelling place, our prayers. We all must move around Satan’s taunting, taking our prayer lives back. We bring to God the very thing that seems to have been closed…a door that cannot be penetrated…that dream that seems to be locked away. It is the very thing that we most pray for and think about, filling our prayers to the brim with pleas for God’s hand to move. Hannah’s prayer entreated God to ‘remember her’. My commentary states that ‘to remember is more than simply to recall that Hannah existed; is to go into action on her behalf’ p. 378.
Who needs God to go into action on their behalf this morning? Who of us is being taunted by Satan regarding the very thing for which God desires to bring us? Are we taking the very dream of our heart and committing it back to God like Hannah? Do our petitions center around blessing God with our request or satisfying ourselves? We must be cautious to not allow our lack to become our worship. Like Hannah, it wasn’t until she laid her dream on the altar of God that she was remembered. Once surrendered, her heart was full of hope and her future included a prophet of God. ‘Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. So in the course of time Hannah conceived…’ 1 Sam 1:18, 20.
So we can go…be encouraged…and know that God will act on our behalf when we offer all fears, hopes and dreams on His altar for His purposes.