Rise Up Like Hannah

The name Hannah is a palindrome because it is read the same backwards and forwards. Like her palindrome name, she demonstrated her steadfast faith when she was feeling down and in anguish and when she was rejoicing after receiving an answer to her prayers. Hannah was a faithful woman no matter which way you look at her life, backwards or forwards. She trusted God and acknowledged His power and goodness when she was praying for a son, when she had her son, when she felt an intense grief, and when she felt exuberant joy.

Hannah was facing difficult and challenging circumstances that turned her to the Lord in persistent prayer. She was one of two wives of Elkanah—the other was Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none. Peninnah kept provoking Hannah because of that. Nowadays, we would say that Peninnah was bullying her. Hannah felt discouraged and anguished. Despite this difficult family situation, she prayed and wept for a son, promising to dedicate him to God.

She received an answer to her prayer—in 1 Samuel 1:17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” Hannah then gave birth to Samuel and presented him to God, just as she had promised. 1 Samuel 2:21 says, “The boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.”

God not only blessed Hannah with the birth of Samuel, but He also gave her three more sons and two daughters. Samuel was used by God; he became a prophet, he anointed Saul and David as kings and served as a judge and as a priest to the nation of Israel.

Hannah trusted God. What about you? I think Hannah would tell you to keep praying because God answers prayers. All we know about Hannah’s life is just in the first two chapters of 1 Samuel, but she stands out as a reminder of faith—to trust in the Lord and the power of prayer.

In the first chapter of 1 Samuel, Hannah was in deep anguish, pouring out her heart to God. In chapter two, Hannah prayed again, but this time, expressing her joy, she worshiped and celebrated the sovereignty of God. Hannah rose up!