Thursday, February 20, 2014

Day 3 Hannah

Following on her knees, head low to the ground, she felt as if her heart was being torn apart.  With her sorrow and tears streaming down her flushed face, Hannah reminded herself to breathe.  “Breathe.” Her mind spoke quietly.  A small gasp escaped her as heart’s desire spilled forth at the altar.  “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me and not forget your servant, but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life and no razor will ever be used on his head.” Hannah prayed in her heart, and her lips were moving, but her words were not heard. (1 Samuel 1:11-11)
A forceful, irritated deep voice interrupted her thoughts, “How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.” Eli commanded.
Startled, quickly standing to her feet, Hannah replied “Not so, my Lord. I am a woman who is deeply troubled.  I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.  Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
Eli, noticing the tear stained face and small gasps from Hannah’s crying, realized his mistake and with a softer voice he replied, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” (1 Samuel 1:17).
There is only one who can heal a woman’s heart. One who can fill a void so deep it cuts like a knife only to fester and burn with agony; one whose very breathe opens up the body for a next generation, but closes the womb for his glory.  One who heard the prayers of a woman with a broken, torn heart; one who opened the womb, breathed life in to her, and used the child as a prophet to his people.  There is NOTHING like the prayer of a righteous woman, who trusts in the Lord, gives her heart over to him and is thankful. This is Hannah.
Hannah’s story is merely a chapter and a half in the bible, but she has been remembered by women from every generation since.  She was a woman who was shamed, mocked, and patronized for her inability to have children.  Shamed by a culture, and mocked by her husband’s second wife, Hannah longed for a child. Year after year she prayed, fasted, hoped and dreamed witnessing many births, each cutting deeper and deeper in to her spirit.  Why not her?
Have you ever believed, anticipated and prayed for something with all your heart, year after year, faith never wavering and a friend, family member or someone you know gets exactly what you want? My sister is an excellent example of this story.  She longed for a child.  Her desire to get pregnant was consuming, prayerful and full of questions. She would watch as women would abort babies; watch as women who were not planning on getting pregnant received a priceless gift.  Why not her?
My sister asked these questions, but her faith and love for Jesus never faltered.  Her love for Him today is stronger than when she desired her baby.  After invetro, fertility shots, organic regiments, she decided for a break.  Can you guess when she got pregnant? I do not understand God’s timing, but I do know, it is perfect.
I love Hannah’s story, for I have been encouraged by her drive and love for God. Where does Hannah run when her heart was breaking? Courageously, sorrowfully and purposefully, she runs to the Tabernacle. Falling on her knees she lifts up a heartfelt vow to El Shaddai and I love what she prayed, “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me and not forget your servant, but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life and no razor will ever be used on his head.” Eli the High Priest, who sadly and apparently was used to drunken people coming in the Tabernacle, assumed she was inebriated for the scriptures say, “Hannah prayed in her heart, and lips were moving, but her voice was not heard.”
After hearing and seeing her emotional, distraught behavior, after seeing her desire for the will of God, Eli the High Priest blessed her. Christian, we go to our own High Priest for prayer, blessing, healing and redemption! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!
God answered her prayer and Hannah bore Samuel. When the time was right, when the people of Israel needed this baby the most and when Hannah’s heart was ready to give this child to the King, God gave her a son.  The Lord loved Samuel, called him at a tender age, so young that when Hannah gave this child to Eli, a three year old fell in worship at the Tabernacle of the Lord; the very place God granted Hannah her request for this man who would be Israel’s greatest Judge and Prophet.
The most important part of this story, she rejoiced, gave thanks and honored her prayer by giving God Samuel when he was weaned at the age of three.  The ability to take our hands off our children, the desire for God’s will in their lives and for God to have his own special relationship with each child, is Christ’s strength at its best.  A mother loves her children.  A mother carries, delivers, and gives her own body for this new life for nursing and nurturing.  At times we may have the audacity to think we know best, but woman, we have to remember it was the Lord Almighty who formed this precious child in the womb.  Have you given your child over to the Lord?  Are you a mother like Hannah who is able to let go, give your baby fully to the Lord so his glory may shine through him/her? I pray that you have, for just as Samuel was a righteous, honored and a revered man of God, your child can be used for a powerful purpose for this time in history.
 If you are in prayer for a child, continue in your faith, but I do want to press and plant a seed if God has spoken to your heart about adoption or loving another of his children.  If the Lord Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth, has asked you to nurture another of his precious sons or daughters, then obediently surrender.  This is never to say God would not give you a child from your womb, but if he formed you to take care of those abandoned or given up, thank the Lord for this precious ministry.  A friend of mine was unable to have children. After her adoption of a sweet little girl, she became pregnant with another precious daughter from above.  God desires obedience
I pray Hannah’s story blesses you to never give up, to bring all your requests to the foot of the cross, and give thanks when you know God has answered your prayers.
For those of you whom are in prayer for a child, I want to encourage you with Hannah’s story and the prayers the Lord shared with me.  Through this time in your life, which ever season you may be in, I pray you KNOW him better.  I pray your relationship with Jesus and God grows with each passing day, focusing on his will and NOT your own.  My heart overwhelms with joy to think how the Lord can use you for his Kingdom.  May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.  May he turn to you and give you his peace.  Praise him as Hannah did and DO NOT forget your prayers and promises to him.  Treasure all these things in your heart as Mary, write them on the tablet and give God praise.  May He REIGN!  In Jesus name, AMEN!
Let us pray and CONFESS the Word of the Living God:

Abba Father, Adonai, Maker of Heaven and Earth,

            Bend your ear down low and listen to your daughter’s heartfelt cries, our prayers and our thankful hearts.  I pray the desires of our hearts on focused on your will and not our own.  I pray you bring us into complete submission before you and the perfect plan you have our lives.  I pray we are as strong as Hannah, bringing all our requests and laying them at the foot of your cross. As wives, bring us into submission before you and our husbands. As mothers, open our hearts to bring each child to you for your service and purpose.  May each of us sing a hymn of praise to you, a song full of joy and thanksgiving for your mercy and graciousness bestowed upon us.  May you open the eyes and hearts of your daughters to your Word, the purpose of Hannah’s story for our lives and give each of us a deeper revelation of you.
 Father, open the eyes of my heart (Ephesians 1:18) give me a hymn of praise to sing to you (Ephesians 5:19), encouraging others along the way (Ephesians 4:29).  May I boast only in the Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14) and His precious blood spilled as my High Priest (Hebrews 4:14).  I pray the children you have given me or will give me are used in a mighty way for your kingdom, planting a harvest for you in the next generation (Colossians 1:6).  May each grow to be in your service, a powerful voice as Samuel’s and may I be a mother who can let go, giving them to you for your perfect will and timing (1 Samuel 1:28). May I train them in the way they should go and when they are older they will never depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).  I pray your laws, wisdom, guidance are tied around their neck like garland and each are quick to respond to your will (Proverbs 1:8-9).
Guard my mouth lest I sin against you (Psalms 39:1, 19:14, James 3:9, Job 2: 10) and believe in your promises, your Word and Truth will never return void (Isaiah 55:11). Your word says instead of the thorn bush, the pine tree will grow; instead of briers the myrtle will grow (Isaiah 55:13) You can open the womb with the breath of life, but until that time comes, I will rejoice and be thankful for the gifts and talents you’ve given me to use for your service.  Open my heart for a deeper relationship of faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13, Hebrews 11:1-3).  May I never be resentful, demand my own timing, provoking to another, jealous or covet what another sister of mine has (Galatians 5:26).  I believe in the power of the resurrection, healing and hope of Jesus Christ for your word says he settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children (Psalm 113:9) I pray for godly women friends, counselors and sisters in Christ who are in the same situation as I am to comfort, pray and give thanks to you.  May we always lift your name on high and hope in the things we can not see (Hebrews 11-3).   In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, AMEN!

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