By Pastor Jomo Cousins, PhD

1 Samuel 1:9-20 (NLT)

9 Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. 10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. 11 And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.” 12 As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. 13 Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. 14 “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” 15 “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. 16 Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” 17 “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”

In this story we see Hannah in a barren state, a woman in search of a child. In biblical times, a woman who couldn’t bear children was shamed and ridiculed. So, Hannah, in her desperation, prayed and fasted before the Lord, seeking a child.

Some may ask, why was she fasting? Jesus said in Matthew 17:21, “some things only come through prayer and fasting.”

Here are some key concepts that we can learn from her prayer:

She was specific in her request.

She identified a place where she could pray.

She came with a humble heart.

She found the right person to come into agreement with her prayer.

She took her faith to another level by making a bold confession. Hannah committed to God the son she did not have, now that is faith!

Except from: Prayer Life: The Conversation, Page 68.