So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for Him.” – 1 Samuel 1:20
There’s a way God answers prayers – He waits till the time we realize that we are helpless without Him. He blessed Hannah with Samuel – a special son and also other children. Hannah was without a child for many years and she had to bear her rival’s bitter words, too. It could be possible that Hannah didn’t care much earlier or she had got used to her situation. Whatever might be the case, but God wanted to give her the best. He wanted her to pray with utmost earnestness before her reward comes her way.
Why did God do so?
– For His glory
– To build Hannah’s faith
– To humble her, so that He could exalt her later
– To prepare her for a special son like Samuel who she could dedicate to God willingly
“After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.” – 1:22
If God had given Hannah children earlier, she would not have grown in her faith or prayer life. She wouldn’t have dedicated Samuel to the Lord so willingly.
Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. – 1 Samuel 2:1
“It is not by strength that one prevails.” – 2:9
… and her face was no longer downcast. – 2:18
“Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” – Luke 22:46
These were Jesus’ words to His disciples while they were asleep. Once in a while, we all fall into temptation. We all sin. But, there is a solution – Prayer.
An angel from heaven appeared to Him (Jesus) and strengthened Him. Luke 22:43
When Jesus prayed out of anxiety, He received strength from God. Think about it for a minute – Jesus being the Son of God needed strength from heaven when He was about to be crucified. We can’t even imagine what He must have been through. But, he was faithful and sincere in His prayer life. He did not take it for granted that God would help Him. He groaned and prayed on His knees until His sweat fell on the ground. Such was His devotion. What about us? Just like Jesus, we need to be faithful in our prayer lives. We need to pray without ceasing to be able to overcome any and every temptation.
Prayer is a powerful armor that keeps us safe in God’s loving arms.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (Read John 1: 1-17)
We are the children of God, because we believed in the name of Jesus. So now when we are accepted in the kingdom of God, let’s live like His children. Let’s depend on our Father, let’s build a relationship with Him, let’s trust Him, let’s obey Him, and let’s look up to Him.
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Laws can be broken or altered, but grace and truth cannot be denied. With Jesus, we are bound by truth. Jesus represents an unchanging, eternal and unshakable promise of God, which is His ‘grace’.
Now when ‘grace’ is our saving factor, we need to understand and realize how carefully we have to lead our lives – how purely and truthfully! Because there’s no law in Christ – we are not bound by law anymore. If law controlled us, we could commit a sin and get rid of it simply by a punishment. But, when there’s grace, we cannot get rid of a sin just like that. We have bigger responsibility – because the grace given to us is not our own – it’s given to us by God through Christ’s blood. Each time we sin, we demand ‘more’ grace from Christ – more of His blood, pain and agony.