Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
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. (1 Samuel 1:17-18)
Hannah, who did not have a child, used to go up the temple every year to worship the Lord. She was always depressed of not having a child during her annual worship and prayer period before the Lord. Finally, one year, she prayed to the LORD out of anguish, and she was weeping uncontrollably. From the deepest part of her heart, she made an earnest prayer , “O LORD of hosts, if you will look with compassion on the suffering of your female servant, remembering me and not forgetting your servant, and give a male child to your servant, then I will dedicate him to the LORD all the days of his life. His hair will never be cut.”
As she continued praying to the LORD, Eli, the priest, was watching her mouth. Now Hannah was speaking from her heart. Although her lips were moving, her voice was inaudible. Eli therefore thought she was drunk. So he said to her, “How often do you intend to get drunk? Put away your wine!”
But Hannah replied, “That’s not the way it is, my lord! I am under a great deal of stress. I have drunk neither wine nor beer. Rather, I have poured out my soul to the LORD. Don’t consider your servant a wicked woman, for until now I have spoken from my deep pain and anguish.” Then Eli, the priest quickly realized that she was truly unloading her heavy burden in the deepest part of her heart to the Lord.
God, full of mercy, carefully listened to Hannah’s prayer year after year. Then God stretched out His merciful hand to Hannah, and talked through the mouth of Eli, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request that you have asked of him.” What a comforting answer from God! All of the Hannah’s prayers poured out of her heart to God year after year were made to God. Without any further hesitation, she said “let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way while putting away all of her pain and sadness. She firmly believed what was told by God through the mouth of Eli.
Hannah’s face was no long sad. Instead, she was in joy through faith in God. She now started a walk with God in God’s comforting hand. Her life was completely changed from the chronical sadness to a real joy in faith and hope. Soon, she bore a son, Samuel – one of the greatest and faithful prophets, who led the entire country to God while demonstrating his absolute faithfulness before God. While Samuel was with them, the Israelites were in faith in God. The Hannah’s prayer was answered not just for Hannah, but for the entire Israelites. One single woman’s earnest prayer from her deepest heart made to God, and brought blessings to Hannah and to the entire Israelites. This is the power of the prayer.
Anna, a prophet, was in the Temple. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. (Luke 2:37) She with Simeon was waiting for the Messiah, i.e., Jesus Christ. Simeon was also righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. He was told by Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Finally, they saw Jesus Christ, whom May and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required. Simeon praised God for letting himself die in peace as God has promised, because he saw the salvation. Anna talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.
Anna completely dedicated her entire life to fasting and prayer after her husband’s death till the age of eighty-four! (She must have had prayed more than sixty years in the temple day and night) God did not overlook her full dedication to God in prayer in the temple. God answered Anna’s life-long prayer of waiting for the Messiah, and God revealed Jesus Christ, the Savior, before her own eyes. How blessed she was!
saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
This is the prayer of Jesus Christ before the cross. His life was a long prayer to God. He came to this world to save us, and eagerly waited for this very moment to complete our salvation. However, it was the most difficult time for Jesus because of imminent agony, pain on cross and death. Jesus prayed to God, His Father as well as Our True Father. Jesus laid down all things in His heart before God before taking the cross. Bible tells “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”(Luke 22:44) Yes, Jesus was in great agony, and He prayed more earnestly till His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. (Have we prayed to God till our sweat fell like great drops of blood?) God saw Jesus, and sent angels to strengthen Him. Through the earnest and fervent prayer, Jesus could overcome the agony and fear of death on cross. After this prayer, he obediently walked the walk given to Him till his death on a cross. This is the moment of the victory for all who believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior. God, then, gave Him the name above all other names, and every tough confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord. Give thanks to God and His only son, Jesus Christ!
God always listens to our prayer, word by word. No single word will not be wasted or won’t disappear into thin air. Instead, all of our prayers are carried by angels in golden plates, and presented to God, which is a pleasing aroma to God. Therefore, we should not lose heart, and continue praying earnestly and fervently before God with all of our hearts and minds. Our time might be long (years or tens-years), but God has never delay His time. God, full of mercy, will grant our payer according to His infinitely goodwill. Praise God, who is our ever-loving and true Father of all who are faithful in prayer and longing for His appearing!
I love the LORD because he hears my voice
and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen,
I will pray as long as I have breath! (Psalm 116:1-2)
Happy Father’s Day! Let’s also remember our True Father in Heaven and give thanks to Him for His infinitely good care given to us.
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