Sunday, April 26, 2020
Message: ‘Real life issues, real life prayers’
Text: 1 Samuel 1:1-20
Introduction: With the shutdown of just about… everything, I bet many people are missing their heroes. You might not call them that, but they are people you admire, look up to, or follow:
As we often do with heroes, we idolize them.
But as autobiographies andbiographies are written about them, they often reveal a different, somewhat unknown side… their life struggles.
The things that have been real life issues for them.
The same thing can be said of our Biblical heroes.
You see, the Biblical characters that did great things for God, actually did struggle with real life issues. And those issues often led them to desperation.
Hannah, is one of those Biblical characters
Background: We often idolize her because of her great faith in God, displayed by her two recorded prayers in the Bible.
Hannah, like all of our Biblical heroes, chose to respond to her real life issues, with, real life prayer.
Today, we’ll be peering into the life of one of those Biblical heroes, Hannah.
Transition: Open your Bibles to 1 Samuel 1:1
1 There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. 2 He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3 Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli; Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. 4 On the day when Elkanahsacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. 6 And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. 7So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8 And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”
Transition: So, do you see any of Hannah’s real life issues? There are least 4 I want to address.
1. One man, two wives
Elkanah, had two wives. See any problems there?
Here’s how it probably happened for Elkanah.
One man, two wives, a real lifeissue for Hannah.
2. Hannah is barren
Another real life issues for Hannah was that she couldn’t have children.
While barrenness in women is often physical… this one was spiritual in nature. Listen closely so you don’t misunderstand me.
The text says …twice, the Lord had closed her womb. There was a divine purpose behind Hannah not being able to have children.
ILL: Oswald Chambers in his book ‘My Utmost for His Highest’ wrote: If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.’ (Rick Gillespie- Mobley)
3. Hannah is provoked
Another real issue took place each time Elkanah took his family to worship in the temple.
Well, Peninnah took offense to being treated this way and took it out on Hannah by provoking; verbally abusing her, for two reasons:
Understand, this was not just a one time thing. It happened every time they went as a family to worship.
Well, this time it was just too much for her to handle. She was so depressed that she just couldn’t eat the food her husband gave her, instead cried.
4. Hannah’s husband tries to help
One last real life issue. Hannah husband, tries to help, but really doesn’t.
Transition: Yes folks, godlypeople, like Hannah, have real life issues, that can often lead to brokenness. But, when they have a real passion for God, it can also lead them to real life prayer.
B. 1 Samuel 1:9-18 Real life prayers
1. Hannah is broken (vs 9-10)
9 After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.
Here’s the picture:
Note that Hannah’s brokenness didn’t lead, to her undoing, but to her knees.
Hannah did the right thing! After all didn’t God say:
Hannah’s prayer came from the place of brokenness. It was a real life prayer, that matched her real life issue.
Christian, in seasons of trouble, in times of despair and brokenness, when you’ve lost hope and your joy is gone:
2. Hannah make a vow to God(vs 11)
11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your servant and remember me and not forget Your servant, but will give to Your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”
Think about what Hannah could have done:
But she didn’t do any of that…did she? No, instead, with great tears and sadness, she cried out to God in prayer. And not just to God in general, she called upon the name of the Lord of Hosts.
Christian, do you believe in your heart of hearts, that God has that kind of unlimited power over all things, including this current season of trouble you are passing through?
Hannah did, so she prayed BIG, so big, that she made a solemn vow to the Lord. With a spirit of humility, she asks God to give her a son. And she promised to give that son back to Him…
I believe God had such a hold ofHannah’s heart, that she was asking God for something that was part of His plan for Israel. For God to have a faithful, godly leader to judge Israel. Allow me to explain:
Hannah was offering her son for God to use to clean up the priesthood in Israel… And that’s exactly what will happen.
Remember Hannah said that God closed her womb? Remember I said that God sometimes directs trouble our way so that His purposes could be established?
And perhaps, God has a plan for the trouble you are currently experiencing.
Christian, seek God’s face, trust His leading, yield to His plan.
To put it another way,
3. Hannah prayer misunderstood (vss 12-16)
12 As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. ThereforeEli took her to be a drunken woman. 14 And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” 15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. 16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.”
Hannah, poured her heart out to God in tear filled prayer.
I mean she must have really been sobbing wildly… so wildly that Eli saw her and thought she was drunk. So he confronted her.
Note the humble, graceful spirit in how Hannah responded to Eli’s false accusation.
I think it was Hannah’s soft response that caused the light of truth to go on in Eli’s life as High Priest.
4. Hannah gets a promise (vss17-18)
17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to Him.” 18 And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
This is exactly what she wanted… desperately needed to hear from the High Priest.
Notice the first thing she did after she left the temple, she ate… just saying!!
Anyway… when you’re praying in the will of God, He will give you peace, even in the midst of trouble.
C. 1 Samuel 1:19-20 Real life answers
1. Hannah trusts God (vs 19a-b)
19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife,
I hope you find this as amazing as I do.
Christian, God hadn’t done anything for Hannah yet.. But she still worshipped Him. She still had peace and joy, while waiting for God to act.
Friends, God is worthy to be praised, even during seasons of despair. Even while we’re waiting for Him to act.
The text tells us that after the family went home, Hannah and Elkanah slept together…
But Hannah trusted God, found the peace of God and believe that things would be different. And it was!
2. Hannah is blessed by God (vss19c-20)
and the Lord remembered her. 20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.”
Hannah got pregnant! And she had a son, she would name, Samuel.
And listen, Hannah kept her vow, her promise to God. Take the time to read the rest of 1 Samuel.
Conclusion: This sermon series while we are not able to worship together in our building, is focused on the prayers in the Bible and how they can help us have a more fruitful prayer life.
While there’s much we can learn about prayer from our text, there is one I want to leave you with:
Having a heart for God means
Having a heart for God means
Having a heart for God means
Friends, it’s only then that we can know peace and joy in the midst of troubling times.