Key Verse: 1 Samuel 1:10
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish.
Today we begin 1st and 2nd Samuel. These books tell us of the life and times of Samuel — Judge, Prophet, and Priest. It was Samuel who appointed the first two Kings of Israel, Saul and David.
The birth of Samuel is a miracle of God. His mother, Hannah, was childless. Like Sarah before her, she experienced intense sorrow because of her inability to conceive. She took her anguish to God again and again, so much so that Eli, the Priest, thought she was drunk. God intervened for her and for His long-term plan to raise up a mighty man of God. Let us remember that “fervent effectual prayer avails much” (James 5:16). God does not violate human free will; therefore, the high level of fervency is a sure sign that our wills are surrendered to God’s will. Hannah and Samuel teach us that God responds directly in proportion to the level of our obedience and fervency in prayer.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, I pray, as Your disciples asked You, “Lord, increase our [my] faith!” Your response to this request called for some “fervent” action on the part of the “learners” from You. Please grant me the grace to put into practice Your means of increasing my faith (read Luke 17:1-10).
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I’ve just gone back to one of my previous blogs when I did a paragraph on Luke 17. Understanding Jesus’ answer to the “increase our faith” petition can teach us much. I thought it was worth repeating, and I need the reminder regularly (here is a link back to that blog posting).
Eli, the Priest, thought Hannah was drunk. I’ve seen drunken people, particularly as a Pastor. I’ve never been drunk with an alcoholic substance, and I don’t intend to ever find out what it’s like. However, I’m sure I’ve had the symptoms from time to time in the anguish of strong intercessory prayer. I’ve been overcome with powerful emotions as I have identified with the crushing hurts of humanity. This is good! This kind of prayer “avails much.” Jesus, Himself, while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, “being in anguish, prayed more earnestly” (Luke 22:44). The result was that in His humanity He received the strength to endure the Cross. Hallelujah!
Yours to help us all learn and practice strong intercession,