The Fervent Prayers of a Righteous Mom

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Prayer is a mother’s most powerful weapon.  When lines of communication have shut down between mother and child, the lines remain untouched between her and the Father.  A mother can speak to the head, but it is God who can speak to the heart.  How he determines to do that is up to him, whether that is through you as the mom, or through the dad, or through someone else, through His Word, or some other way.  But as a Christian mother who loves her child, you have access to the Father in heaven who loves your child even more than you.  As Paul Tripp says, “God doesn’t call us to a task because we’re able.  He calls us to a task because He’s able.”  And in this passage today, we see that very faith in Hannah’s prayer.

The first display of trust in God is at the beginning of her prayer.  She rejoices in God’s goodness.  Here was a barren woman, who desperately longed for a son.  She had gone to Shiloh year after year to celebrate with her husband, but found no reason to celebrate.  Instead, she would weep.  She felt in her heart that she was missing something.

It was at this time that the Lord heard Hannah’s prayer and answered it.  Now, understand that this is a descriptive passage and not a prescriptive passage.  This passage only tells us what happened with Hannah; it is not a promise to everyone.  But what we see is Hannah’s prayer was a fervent prayer.  And the fervent prayer of a righteous mom availeth much.

Now, a few years later, she is back in Shiloh, but her prayer is quite different.  She is no longer mourning over the lack of a child, but rejoicing over the goodness of God.  “And Hannah prayed and said, ‘My heart exults in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD.  My mouth derides my enemies because I rejoice in your salvation’,” (1 Samuel 2.1, ESV).

Quickly notice something about the expression of joy in this verse.  There is no mention of Samuel, her son.  He joy is in the LORD.  Her horn (her strength) is made stronger in the LORD.  She rejoices in the Lord’s salvation. What a perspective!  She desired a child, God grants her the child, but her trust (her hope, her strength) is not in the child, but in the LORD.  Her joy is not in the gift but in the Gift-giver.

And so we see Hannah, going from rejoicing in the LORD, to reciting the truth of God.  Her faith brought about this recitation of who God is.  “There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God,” (1 Samuel 2.2, ESV).  The truth of God is that He is unique.  Three times, Hannah says that no one else can match God.  No one is holy like God.  There is no one beside God.   There is no rock like God.  No husband, no friend, no child could be the rock that God is.  He is our foundation.  He is our source of strength.

She also has reason to refrain from vengeance, from the desperate need to take matters into her own hands, to control the outcome of situations.  Her prayer actually takes a different angle as if speaking toward someone other than God, but as part of the prayer she speaks, “Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed,” (1 Samuel 2.3, ESV).  This would be the theme of the next few verses, as Hannah acknowledges that God is not ignorant of what is happening in our lives.  The warning is simply to be careful about what one says.  God is the one who judges.  He is the one who will have the final say.  Her faith, then, led her to let Him do as He would in His time.  The God who sets up thrones and tears down governments is not weak when it comes to other areas of life.

So, she refrains from vengeance but also refocuses her attention.  “The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven.  The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed,” (1 Samuel 2.10, ESV).  Her focus is not on the present, but on the future.  She has an eschatological outlook.  In other words: she is looking to the last days.  She is looking to the coming of the Messiah.

In Psalm 132, it is declared by God: “There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.  His enemies I will clothe with shame, but on him his crown will shine,” (vv. 17-18, ESV).  This was the very day that Hannah looked to.  If you were to go back to Luke 1 and read Mary’s Magnificat, you would see that it is remarkably similar to Hannah’s song.  It is as if all that Hannah knew and expected found its expectation met in Jesus.  As if Hannah’s song was a promise made, while Mary’s song was the promise kept.  In fact, Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, prophesied, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,” (Luke 1.68-69, ESV).  As Hannah prayed, “The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

Moms, it is hard to keep your eyes ahead to the coming of the Lord.  It is easy to get mixed up in the chaos of today. Let your heart and your mind take on an eschatological focus—a focus on the last days, so that it may direct your steps.

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