10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”

12 As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”

15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”

17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”

18 She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.

19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her.

I wonder how many times Hannah had prayed that prayer? Perhaps 10s, 100s, or 1000s of times she had offered up the same prayer, the same vow, to God with no answer. What was different this time? Did she use different words? Did she mean it more deeply? Was her heart more broken? Was it that Eli saw her and said something to her? I don’t think so. If so, then that puts the answer to our prayers in our hands not God’s. We are to cast all our cares upon the Lord for He cares for you. But the answer to our prayers is not dependent upon our doing something just right. It’s in God’s hands, God’s timing, God’s power that our prayers are answered.

Notice also that once Hannah had handed it over to God she left it there. At least for the time being. She was able to move on and receive that peace that surpasses all understanding that guards our hearts and minds. She was able to receive the gift, the blessing that Elkanah had given her. And she worshipped!

How’s your prayer life?

Does it look like Hannah’s example in these verses?

Is there a burden on your soul that you have been carrying for a long time that you need to let go of?

Can you let go of it long enough to find that peace and to receive His gifts for you?


Doug Walquist